Photo: Melanie Martines
Big John B, Bench Light and Bright Thought, the top three finishers
in Saturday’s Grade II, $200,000 Del Mar Handicap, all came out of the
race fine, their trainers reported.
Phil D’Amato, who conditions both Big John B and Bright Thought, said
following the Handicap -- a “Win And You’re In” Qualifier for the $3
million Breeders’ Cup Turf on November 1 at Santa Anita – that the
Breeders’ Cup would now be the target for Big John B.
A $50,000 claim by trainer Michael Stidham for owner Michael House
last spring at Keeneland, Big John B. scored his second straight win
since being transferred to D’Amato for racing on the West Coast.
“Every race he improves and his confidence is through the roof now,” D’Amato said.
D’Amato was also pleased with Bright Thought.
“He ran a really good race all things considered,” D’Amato said. “He
had to make three or four moves and didn’t get beat that much for
Trainer Mike Pender noted that Bench Light “ran into a roadblock from
the half mile to quarter pole which nearly cost him second.
“As a Cal-bred, we’ve got plenty of options with him from here,” Pender said via text.
Big John B covered the shortest trip in Saturday’s Del Mar Handicap.
Bench Light, second beaten 5 ¼ lengths, covered 41 feet more than the
winner, while fourth home Starspangled Heat went 54 feet more. Those two
distances equated to roughly 4 ¾ and 6 ¼ lengths, respectively.
Source: Del Mar