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Clenor Has Star Potential

For those who missed Episode 2 of “Stable Wars Del Mar,” the Fox Sports San Diego reality TV series in which the track is the starring venue, here’s a capsule of the racing developments:

Great Friends Stable, which is “warring” with rival Little Red Feather Racing, purchased Irish-bred 2-year-old filly Clenor for $250,000 and imported her from Ireland. She was an impressive, 2 ½-length winner in a $75,000 maiden special weight race on August 4. Cameras zoomed in to catch the delighted excitement of Great Friends head Scott Kaplan and trainer Doug O’Neill during the race and their enthusiastic speculation afterward that Clenor could go on to the Breeders’ Cup.

The reality of those dreams will be determined Monday when Clenor, the 5-2 morning line favorite, breaks from the inside post against nine rivals in the $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf, a stepping stone to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf on Friday, November 1 at Santa Anita.

 “She’s a special filly,” O’Neill said Sunday morning. “The inside post doesn’t matter and it might help because it’s the shortest way around and she just wants to make one run. The other day she just walked out of (the gate). She should do better her second start in the U.S., but she doesn’t have early speed so we’ll just try to save ground and have her punch it home.”

Powell Seeks First Del Mar Stakes Win With Aotearoa

On Sunday, August 4, three races before several Futurity-bound 2-year-olds would compete in the Best Pal Stakes, trainer Leonard Powell saddled California-bred Aotearoa for an impressive 4 ½-length debut victory in a 5 ½-furlong allowance race.

In Monday’s I’m Smokin Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds, the gelded son of Good Journey, owned by Paul Viskovich, has been tabbed as the 5-2 morning line favorite. And a victory would be the first in a Del Mar stakes for the 36-year-old Powell.

“The first time out he ran in a very good fashion and I think he has moved a little bit forward in his training,” Powell said Sunday. “We are going from a maiden to a stake because there’s nothing else for him to run in, but he has shown a lot of talent in the morning and hopefully he can repeat that in the afternoon.”



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