The stable of trainer Cody Autrey got a charge four days into the
meeting when its eighth starter, debuting 2-year-old Guns Loaded, fired
to the lead early and went on to a 1 ½-length victory.
There have been two more wins and three runner-up finishes from six
Autrey starters since then and he has Guns Loaded set to go in Sunday’s
$150,000 Grade II Best Pal Stakes.
The Best Pal, a stepping stone to the $300,000 Grade I Del Mar
Futurity on closing day, Wednesday, September 4, attracted a field of
seven at Thursday’s close of entries and post position draw. Guns Loaded
is one of five that oddsmaker Russ Hudak lists as from 5-2 to 9-2 on
his morning line.
The field, from the rail out: Easy Solution (15-1, Patrick
Valenzuela), Ontology (Rafael Bejarano, 5-2), Skydreamin (Mike Smith,
3-1), Alpine Luck (Gary Stevens, 3-1), Alberts Hope (Alonso Quinonez,
9-2), Guns Loaded (Joe Talamo, 9-2) and Celtic Moon (Edwin Maldonado,
Guns Loaded, a son of D’wildcat, was purchased for $175,000 at a
Florida sale after being picked out by Autrey associate Gary Sims. “He
(Guns Loaded) has been training forwardly ever since we got him,” the
33-year-old Autrey said. “This is a step up for him but we’re hoping he
can make it.”
Quarantine Area Passes Muster For Euro Imports
Racing secretary Tom Robbins said that an area in Barn Y just east of
the grandstand was approved by USDA inspectors on Thursday for use as a
quarantine space to house three horses coming in from England for major
“Now it’s a matter of working out shipping arrangements with the trainers and owners,” Robbins said.
Farraaj, a Group III winner with career earnings of $257,798 for
trainer Roger Varian, is being aimed for the $1 million TVG Pacific
Classic on Sunday, August 25. Yeager, a winner of two of four starts
with the last coming in the Deloitte Handicap Stakes at Ascot, is bound
for the $300,000 Grade II Del Mar Derby on Sunday, September 1. The Gold
Cheongsame, a winner of four of 11 starts with earnings of $472,364, is
intended for the $150,000 Grade II Yellow Ribbon Stakes on Monday,
CARMA Continues Mission To Provide For Ex-Racehorses
The concept, which Madeleine Auerbach and some other members of the
Thoroughbred Owners of California, embraced several years ago, was not
“We thought, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could get a pledge of
some purse money from the owners, because in the final analysis horses
are the owners’ responsibility,” Auerbach recalled. “And we put together
a program where owners voluntarily give up a very small percentage of
purse money and we put it in trust to give to facilities that house,
retrain and give horses an opportunity for life after racing.”
It’s called the California Retirement Management Account or CARMA.
Its mission, stated on its website (carma4horses.org) is: “Dedicated
to the goal of providing funding for the rehabilitation, retraining
and/or retirement of Thoroughbred horses that have raced in California.”
Funds from the owners’ pledges, from matching funds agreements with
Santa Anita and Del Mar, and from events like the annual poker
tournament held locally at the start of the Del Mar meeting, are
distributed to rescue and rehabilitation facilities that apply for and
meet grant standards.
Among the horses that have been given second careers as
hunter/jumpers or comfortable retirements are Sarafan, the 2002 Eddie
Read Stakes winner, Liberian Freighter, Booted and Bedark.
“It was a feel-good thing and thank God it has gotten a lot of
attention and taken off, because we know we’ve got to take care of these
horses,” Auerbach said.
Auerbach, a partner with trainer Barry Abrams and others in the
highly successful California stallion Unusual Heat, chairs CARMA.
Jennifer Hagan, Marsha Naify, Samantha Siegel and Howard Zucker are
officers in the organization which also has a 16-member board of
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has pledged to match 50 percent of the
money to Carma from purse money during the 2013 meeting and 100 percent
in 2014. The poker tournament raises upwards of $50,000 annually,
Auerbach said. Individual donations are accepted. For additional
information, access the CARMA website.
Trakus Facts For Wednesday And Thursday
Hotradamus saved ground throughout Wednesday’s fifth race while Brave
Act was two wide on the first turn and three wide for most of the
second turn. Wheeling out off the rail late in the second turn,
Hotradamus rolled past Brave Act to win by more than two lengths.
Overall, Brave Act covered 39 feet more than Hotradamus, which is
approximately worth 4 1/2 lengths. Corey Nakatani, who rode Hotradamus,
was shown (in a Trakus study published at FollowHorseRacing.com) to be
the most ground-saving jockey at Del Mar over the last three seasons in
races at one mile on Polytrack. That efficiency certainly carried over
in this turf event.
El Commodore went straight to the front from an inside draw in
Thursday’s seventh race with no real challenge supplied by second-home
Kid Edward. Planted wide throughout under David Flores, Kid Edward
covered 50 feet more than El Commodore, which is roughly equivalent to 5
3/4 lengths. The official margin was 2 1/2.
In Thursday’s third race, debuter Whatsallthedrama ran away from the
competition with a final quarter in 24.96 seconds, which was 0.78
seconds faster than the next fastest in the race, second place Vegas