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Evening Jewel Headlines Del Mar Oaks

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Super star Evening Jewel, worse than second only once in 11 starts, heads a solid field of 10 3-year-old fillies expected to go postward in Saturday's running of the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.


Only two nose defeats by Blind Luck separates Evening Jewel, trained by Jim Cassidy, from five straight victories. Those losses came in Santa Anita's Grade I Las Virgenes and the Grade I Kentucky Oaks, and even though nemesis Blind Luck will be running in the Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday, the daughter of Northern Afleet will still be tested.


For instance, Harmonious, on a three-win streak, Antares World and Weekend Magic, the 1-2-3 finishers in Hollywood Park's Grade I American Oaks, will offer plenty of competition for the Cassidy trainee. Add to that, the multiple stakes winner Crisp, who defeated Blind Luck in the Santa Anita Oaks; Group winners Berg Bahn and Distinctive in from England and Ireland and Canadian shipper Perfect Shirl, seeking her fourth straight victory.


It Tiz, trained by Mark Glatt, and Warren's Jitterbug, trained by Jorge Gutierrez, have no graded stakes wins, but It Tiz shows three fourth-place finishes in Grade I events, including the 2009 Darley Debutante at Del Mar.


All will carry 122 pounds.


Cassidy's Evening Jewel blew out 3 furlongs on the turf course around the dogs in a sizzling 36.40 this morning, leading the trainer to say, "We tried to slow her down but it wasn't happening. She's doing so well now, it's beginning to scare me a bit." Exercise rider George Alvarez was in the saddle.


Myung Kwan Cho's Weekend Magic chalked up a solid 37.40 for 3 furlongs.


Here's how they'll line up from the rail, with riders: Berg Bahn, Alex Solis here from Saratoga; Antares World, Frank Alvarado; Perfect Shirl, Chantal Sutherland in from Woodbine; Evening Jewel, Victor Espinoza; Distinctive, Brice Blanc; Harmonious, Mike Smith; It Tiz, David Flores; Weekend Magic, Alonso Quinonez; Crisp, Rafael Bejarano, and Warren's Jitterbug, Patrick Valenzuela. 


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