Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Alex Evers
Race 7 on Del Mar’s Thursday card is probably one of the
more anticipated races of the month, and it’s not even a stakes race. All
things considered, however, it certainly could be graded stakes race
considering the quality of fillies that have showed up to tango. Among the
seven entrants set to duke it out tomorrow are three fillies making their very
first start this year.
Multiple Grade 1 winning Executiveprivilege headlines the field. Last year’s early favorite
to be named Champion Juvenile Filly has been sidelined off and on this year due
to quarter cracks. Trainer Bob Baffert tried to work her lightly during the
first part of the year in order to have her ready to contest the G1 Kentucky
Oaks, but time ran out when the filly’s hooves refused to cooperate.
Executiveprivilege has not started since December 8 but has been steadily
training since early May.
She faces the tall task of being the only 3-year old in the field
plus breaking from the rail, something she has never before had to do. In fact,
with the exception of drawing post 2 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, she
has never started closer to the inside that post 6. She does, however, have a
pair of graded stakes victory over Del Mar’s main track, so the notoriously
quirky surface should prove to be no problem for the First Samurai filly. She
will race with blinkers off.
Grade 2 winner, breaks from post 4. Like Executiveprivilege, she has not been
seen in the starting gate since December when she fell short by a neck to Book
Review in the La Brea. Following that race she had surgery to remove a chip
from a knee. She has recently been entered to race twice but scratched both
times. She was scratched from the Princess Rooney on Calder’s Summit of Speed
card because travel arrangements could not be made, and she was then scratched
from this past weekend’s A Gleam Handicap because trainer Peter Miller thought
asking her to run 7 panels in her return was a bit too much.
Last year Reneesgotzip won the C.E.R.F. Stakes in near track
record time. Her 1.08:23 for 6 furlongs was just six hundredths of a second off
Euroears’ track record. She has been training strongly for her return,
including a pair of bullet works , one at 5 furlongs and the other at 6, at
Hollywood Park. The City Zip filly has won off a significant layoff in the
past, so there’s every indication that she is primed to put in a solid
Dual Grade 2 winner Gypsy Robin will break from post six with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith in the
irons. She comes into this race with an even longer layoff than the other two
fillies already mentioned. The last time she entered the starting gate, she was
the decisive winner of the Raven Run Stakes back in late October.
Del Mar’s seventh race will be Gypsy Robin’s first
start for new trainer Mike Puype, but the long break should not be a concern
for him. Like Reneesgotzip, Gypsy Robin runs well fresh having captured the
Beaumont off a 7 month layoff. The bay daughter of Daaher also happens to have
a strong affinity for synthetic tracks. She is a perfect 4 for 4 on synthetic
tracks, but this will be her first career start at Del Mar. Invaluable
information imparted by fellow blogger Laurie Ross leads me to believe that
Gypsy Robin may not be a good bet in this spot (Read why here).
Band, last seen finishing 3rd in the Time to Leave Stakes,
stakes placed Curvy Cat and Shumoos, and former claimer There Is No Limit complete the field.
The first three have never raced at Del Mar and have no works over the track’s
surface, but Shumoos is by known Polysire Distorted Humor and may take right to
the track. There Is No Limit has two races at Del Mar, but she finished 9th
and last in one race and 6th in the other. Of these four, I feel
Shumoos is the most likely to pull an upset over the top 3 fillies, otherwise
Reneesgotzip is the one to beat.