July 23, 2003 |
Saratoga might have Funny Cide and Empire Maker, but Del Mar has Azeri, Congaree, Golden Apples and Kona Gold. So no apologies are being heard as this seaside track prepares for today's 64th season opener.
September 12, 2002 |
Trainer Bob Baffert not only had the best horse in the Del Mar Futurity, he had the best four horses. Running an unprecedented five horses in the eight-horse meet-ending stake Wednesday, Baffert won the $250,000 race with Icecoldbeeratreds, and following the winner across the line were Kafwain, Chief Planner and Friendly Mike, who also come from the Baffert barn. Baffert's other starter, Bull Market, went off the 5-2 favorite and ran sixth.
September 11, 2002 |
A maiden hasn't won the Del Mar Futurity since Go West Young Man at 70-1 in 1977. William Currin will try to win today's 55th running of the stake with a non-winner, and under the most difficult conditions. The biggest roadblocks figure to be the five 2-year-olds trained by Bob Baffert, who, in absentia, will be trying to win Del Mar's closing-day stake for the seventh consecutive year.
September 7, 2002 |
Trainer Neil Drysdale has an opportunity to win graded races at Del Mar and Belmont Park today. Winning in New York wouldn't be too much of a surprise. Winning in California would be an upset. Bella Bellucci will try again for her first Grade I victory in the $250,000 Gazelle Handicap at Belmont Park. Hours later, Golden Arrow will be looking for his first stakes victory in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby, a Grade II at 1 1/8 miles on turf.
September 3, 2002 |
Trainer Bob Baffert has taken control of another race here besides the Del Mar Futurity. Congaree's one-length victory over Kela in the $250,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap on Monday was the third in a row in the Grade II for Baffert, who in eight days will try to make off with the Futurity for the seventh consecutive year.
August 26, 2002 |
The only way to beat War Emblem might be to give him the gate, but another bad start for the Kentucky Derby winner shouldn't detract from Came Home's authoritative win Sunday in the $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar.
August 24, 2002 |
The late Charlie Whittingham, a hall-of-fame trainer, would routinely start three horses in stakes races, and even ran 1-2-3 on several occasions. "I like it when I've got them surrounded," Whittingham would quip. But Ron McAnally, who was inducted into the racing shrine in 1990 and has been training for about 45 years, can't recall ever tripling up on the opposition.
August 23, 2002 |
Trainer Bobby Frankel is suggesting that the War Emblem camp has little to lose by running the 3-year-old colt against older horses in Sunday's $1-million Pacific Classic at Del Mar. "If they lose to older horses, they don't lose much stature," said Frankel, who has won six of the first 11 Classics, all with 4-year-olds or older. Frankel will remain at Saratoga, where he's saddling Medaglia d'Oro, the 2-5 morning-line favorite, in Saturday's Travers for 3-year-olds.
August 19, 2002 |
Two horses with reputations that exceed their accomplishments will be in action as Del Mar concludes the fourth of its seven-week season. Easy Grades is the 6-5 favorite against four opponents in the second, a $60,000 allowance at one mile on the main track, then five races later, D'wildcat is the 7-5 choice in a field of five in a $68,000 optional claimer at one mile on the turf.
August 12, 2002 |
Trainer Laura De Seroux kept one winning streak alive on Sunday and she'll try to keep another going this Saturday. Azeri, the top female main track performer in the country, toyed with her four rivals in the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap for her fifth graded stakes win in a row and her eighth victory in nine career starts. In six days, Astra, the best female turf runner in the U.S., will try for her fourth consecutive victory in the $500,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park.