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.
July 30, 2002 |
The future for Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens at the Del Mar meet is in question after he took off his mounts Monday and Wednesday and his agent said that he wouldn't be able to honor stakes commitments here and at Saratoga this weekend. "Gary banged up one of his knees in the starting gate [last weekend]," Craig O'Bryan, Stevens' agent, said. "He's supposed to see the doctor Wednesday. But as far as anything else, I just don't know.
July 28, 2002 |
Looking for a way to wash that filly Azeri right out of his hair, trainer Ron McAnally moved his filly Affluent from dirt to grass and she came from slightly off the pace to win the $400,000 John Mabee Ramona Handicap by a neck at Del Mar on Saturday. Azeri, the best distaffer in the country on dirt, had beaten Affluent three times from April to June, but McAnally's filly got a reprieve with the switch to turf for the Ramona.
July 26, 2002 |
If the first two days of the meet are any indication, Craig Lewis and Bill Spawr are trainers to watch this summer at Del Mar. Lewis and Spawr have combined to win seven of the first 17 races. Lewis, who has three victories, will have two starters and Spawr, who had two wins on Wednesday and Thursday, has three on today's card, the first of seven twilight programs. Post time today and for the next three Fridays is 4 p.m., then, for the final three weeks of the meet, the Friday post is 3:30 p.m.
July 19, 2001 |
Early in the day, Del Mar's renovated turf course was the cushion for a few heavy bounces from jockey Tyler Baze. By twilight, though, the 18-year-old rider got comfortable on the new greensward at the seaside track, riding Dr. Park to a near-record victory in the second division of the opening-day Oceanside Stakes. Coming from off the pace Wednesday, Dr. Park not only won by two lengths, but he also ran a mile in 1:34 2/5, missing the Oceanside record by a fifth of a second.
July 18, 2001 |
For years, the cacophony at entry-taking time in the Del Mar racing office would be arrested by racing secretary Tom Knust's cry: "OK, all you jocks agents out of here." Now, on Del Mar's 62nd opening day, Knust finds himself on the other side of the counter in the same office. "It's going to feel strange," Knust said. "When I hear Tom Robbins shouting the same thing, I'll be included."
July 26, 2000 |
What better way to open the 61st season at Del Mar than by engaging Charlie McIntire in some storytelling about the seaside track. As the seven-week meet opens today, McIntire will be at a familiar stand, as stable superintendent, trying to shoehorn more than 2,000 horses into Del Mar's dusty backside. In terms of seniority, neither McIntire nor anyone else can touch trainer Noble Threewitt, 89, who has been here every season since Bing Crosby and company opened the place in 1937.