An undefeated colt making his stakes debut and three
veterans of graded stakes action lead a field of 10 3-year-olds with visions of
running in the Grade II Del Mar Derby in Wednesday's traditional opening-day
feature, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes at a mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf
Course as Del
Mar opens its 71st race meet.
Twirling Candy, a son of 2003 Pacific Classic winner
Candy Ride, puts his spotless record of two for two on the line for trainer
John Sadler against the more experienced trio of Macias, Gallant Gent and
Domonation. Gallant Gent, a gelded son of Yankee Gentleman, has run in four
straight graded events, with a third place being his top finish; Domonation,
another Sadler trainee, is winless, also, in his graded outings, and Macias,
trained by Bob Baffert, has yet to win in graded company, though he has earned
the most money of any horse in the race at $185,597 and will carry high weight
of 121 pounds. His record is four wins, one second and two thirds in 10
A victory in the Oceanside could be a ticket to the $300,000
Del Mar Derby on Sunday, September 5, at 1 1/8 miles on the Durante grass.
Three other prospects come to the race from a winning
effort, all in allowance/claiming company. The trio: Face and an Ace, trained
by Paco Gonzalez; Eoin Harty's Hockley, and the Janet Armstrong-trained Just
Here's how they'll line up from the rail, with
weights and riders: Face and an Ace, 119, Brice Blanc; Very Fair, 119, Mike
Smith; Twirling Candy, 119, Joel Rosario; Brady Blue Eyes, 119, Tyler Baze;
Hockley, 119, David Flores; Macias, 121, Martin Garcia; Domonation, 117, Rafael
Bejarano; Just Magic, 119, Martin Pedroza; Gallant Gent, 119, Victor Espinoza,
and Killer Bear, 119, Felipe Valdez.
is the eighth of 10 races on the opening-day card, with first post at 2 p.m.
Of interest on the day's undercard is a race by a
group of aging runners who have put up big earnings numbers over their careers,
headed by the $351,840 earned by the 7-year-old Racketeer and including four
others who have earned purse money of more than $200,000 -- Silent Soul,
Valiant Effort, Yacht Spotter and Yankee Bravo. They'll all be running for a
claiming tag of $32,000 in the second race.
At the other end of the spectrum, the seventh race
offers fans a glimpse of a possible Del
Mar champion 2-year-old filly as 12 maiden juveniles are set to run 6 furlongs.