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.
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.