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Cassidy Takes Shot at Del Mar Stakes

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A year ago trainer Jim Cassidy swept Del Mar’s opening-weekend stakes, taking the Eddie Read with The Usual Q.T. on Saturday and the San Clemente on Sunday with Evening Jewel.

This year it’s the same stakes, same days of the week, same trainer with horses to saddle in them. Same hopes but, realistically, not the same expectations.

“Last year I had two bullets ready to fire; this year I’m OK,” Cassidy said recently from his Barn KK office. “But of course you’ve got to get lucky, too.”

The margin of victory for The Usual Q.T. in the $300,000, Grade I Eddie Read was two lengths, while Evening Jewel rallied in the stretch for a three-quarter-length victory in the $150,000, Grade II San Clemente. The Usual Q.T. and Evening Jewel would eventually be voted division champions of the meeting in the grass horse and three-year-old filly categories respectively.

“When both of them won I was so pleased,” said Cassidy, who is 65 and in his ninth season at Del Mar.

This year, Cassidy will send out Kid Edward in Saturday’s Eddie Read and a pair of European bred and initially raced fillies, Fifth Commandment and Fifth Ave in the San Clemente.

Kid Edward, a 4-year-old Irish-bred Singspiel colt, was second to Sidney’s Candy, beaten 5 ½ lengths, in the 2010 La Jolla and fifth behind Twirling Candy in the Del Mar Derby. Fifth Commandment, an Irish-bred daughter of Holy Roman Empire, finished third in the Manhattan Beach Stakes on June 18 at Hollywood Park in her first start for Cassidy after racing 11 times with four wins in Great Britain as a 2-year-old. Fifth Ave, an English-bred daughter of Avonbridge, was sixth in the Manhattan Beach in her third start for Cassidy. Fifth Ave raced 13 times in England as a 2-year-old.

“The colt is good, the fillies are not super stars but they’re decent sorts,” Cassidy said.

The Usual Q.T. and Evening Jewel won as favorites in the betting. Cassidy’s charges do not figure to be favored in either race this weekend.



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