Trainer Carla Gaines was having trouble finding a race in the condition book
for her 3-year-old maiden gelding Parable. And the ones she found didn’t
attract a sufficient number of entries to go.
So when Del Mar racing secretary Tom Robbins inquired about Parable for
participation in Sunday’s ‘Battle of the Exes’ match race, Gaines was all
for it. So were Parable’s owners, Swift Thoroughbreds Inc., a British Columbia,
Canada racing organization headed by Horatio and Jackie Kemeny, Mark and Naudia
The blind draw which assigned jockey Chantal Sutherland, a Canadian and the
undisputed queen of racing in that country, to Parable completed a perfect fit.
And eh, the Swift Thoroughbreds folks will fly south from the Great
White North on Sunday to be on hand.
Sutherland rode Parable (0-for-8 lifetime) to a fifth-place finish, of
seven, in a maiden special at Santa Anita on March 24. And regarding
having a rider with experience on her horse: “It couldn’t hurt, let’s put it
that way,” Gaines said.
“My horse has good route speed, but he’s kind of a one-paced horse.
And to be honest, he trains much better on the dirt than he has on this
track…Since we’re doing the ‘Battle of the Exes’ and it’s the adjunct to the
(2003) ‘Battle of the Sexes,’ it seems to be the right way to go, girls versus
guys. Doesn’t it?”
No argument from Peter Eurton, who trains Joker Face, the 3-year-old gelding
Hall of Famer Mike Smith will ride in the match.
“(Joker Face) ran a good second coming down the hill (6 ½ furlong turf
course at Santa Anita) his first time,” Eurton said. “Then he ran a couple of
poor efforts going long. Then he ran a really good second closing week at
Hollywood Park (July 8 in a 7 ½ -furlong $30,000 claimer on the Cushion Track).
He’s had a couple of good works here and he’s training real well.”
Like Gaines, Eurton said he also had trouble finding a race in the condition
book suitable for Joker Face and he considered the match race as an unexpected
“You can’t ask for anything better. It’s a lot of fun, and the owners
(Mr. and Mrs. Marc C. Ferrell of Los Angeles) are really looking forward to
it,” Eurton said. “I would have been happy with either one of them, Mike Smith
or Chantal. It’s going to be interesting.”
Del Mar oddsmaker Russ Hudak made Smith and Joker Face the 3-to-5 morning
line favorite for the betting in an event that will go as the fourt race on the
10-race Sunday program. Sutherland and Parable are even money on the morning