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Del Mar: Meet the Match Race Horses

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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 Mache.


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 opportunity.


“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 line.

 

 

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