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Del Mar Stakes Runners Exit In Good Shape

Tom’s Tribute and Goldencents, winners of the $250,000 Grade II events leading up to the Pacific Classic on Sunday, showed no ill effects of the effort and are headed to Breeders’ Cup assignments.

Tom’s Tribute put a lock on “Grass Horse of the Meeting” honors with a Del Mar Mile victory to go with an earlier one in the Grade I  mile and one-eighth Eddie Read Stakes.

“You do the best you can and hope for the best,” trainer Jim Cassidy said. “I couldn’t be happier. The whole thing is fantastic, We’ll see what happens at the Breeders’ Cup.”

Obviously, the two-time defending Mile champion, had his chances  compromised by a slow start and finished fourth beaten 2 ¼ lengths as the 2-5 favorite. But the Phil D’Amato trainee came out of the race fine and will be trained up to a  Breeders’ Cup Mile assignment for the third year in a row. D’Amato trained Big John B to win Saturday’s Del Mar Handicap, a “Win And You’re In” qualifier for the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf.

In winning Sunday’s Pat O’Brien Stakes, Doug O’Neill-trained Goldencents earned an expenses-paid entry to the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, the event he won last year.

“Came out of it super,” O’Neill said.

Trainer Bob Baffert reported that Fed Biz (2nd, Mile) and Game On Dude (4th, Classic) were also fine and will be pointed for yet-to-be determined races.

“Dude’s still mad,” Baffert said. “He ran a huge race, but it  turned out to be a wasted effort. That’s horse racing.


Jerry Hollendorfer opened up a four-win lead over Peter Miller in the trainer standings with three wins on Sunday and Mike Smith’s four-win day moved him within two of leader Rafael Bejarano (26-24) in the jockey standings.

With seven racing days remaining, Hollendorfer, who has long dominated racing in Northern California, is clearly the one to beat in search of his first outright training title on the Southern California circuit. Smith, with his victory aboard Shared Belief, shouldn’t be topped in the win percentage (he’s at 26) and money earnings (nearly $2.5 million) categories. And, given his recent hot hand, he can’t be counted out for total wins despite riding considerably fewer mounts than leader Bejarano (26-147) or the riders with whom Smith is tied for second, Kent Desormeaux (24/126) and Elvis Trujillo (24/156).


With the scratch of 3-1 morning line favorite Desert Steel, as well as 12-1 Do the Danse Wednesday morning, a rematch of My Fiona and Lost Bus, the 1-2 finishers in the CTBA Stakes on July 18, looms likely in the featured $150,000 Generous Portion Stakes for California bred 2-year-old fillies.

My Fiona, a daughter of Ghostzapper trained by Walther Solis, kept favored Lost Bus at bay in the stretch for a neck victory in the CTBA. The scratches reduce the field for the Generous Portion to eight.

WHAT’S IN A NAME -- The Generous Portion Stakes is named for 1970  Del Mar Debutante winner Generous Portion who was owned and bred by the Old English Rancho of Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Johnston. Inaugurated in 1991, it has been run annually since 1996.


Nine 2-year-old fillies were entered Wednesday for Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante.

The field, from the rail out: Sevuire (Elvis Trujillo), Manahatta (Rafael Bejarano), Starlet O’Hara (Martin Garcia), Dad’s Princess (Mike Smith), Sunset Glow (Victor Espinoza), Her Emmynency (Joe Talamo), Stealth Drone (Tyler Baze), Conquest Eclipse (Corey Nakatani) and Windy Forecast (Kent Desormeaux).

Source: Del Mar


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