Photo: Benoit photo
Headed by double Grade I
winner Evening Jewel, a field of 10 3-year-old fillies with thoughts of the Del
Mar Oaks in their heads is pretty much guaranteed for Sunday's 43rd running of
the Grade II, $150,000 San Clemente Handicap, the major prep for the Grade I
Oaks on Saturday, August 21.
The field will go one mile
on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
super-consistent Evening Jewel, trained by Jim Cassidy for the Braly Family
Trust, will be making only her second start on turf and will be turning back to
a mile from the 1 1/8-miles she ran in her last outing, a winning effort in Hollywood Park's Grade II Honeymoon Handicap May
marks the second straight start where Evening Jewel hasn't had to contend with
Blind Luck, who has proved to be a thorn for the daughter of Northern
Afleet. Blind Luck edged Evening Jewel by the tiniest of noses in
both Santa Anita's Las Virgenes and the Kentucky Oaks. Overall, Evening Jewel,
who will carry high weight of 123 pounds, has been either first or second in
nine straight races. Victor Espinoza will be in the irons.
one of two John Sadler trainees entered, also holds a victory over Evening
Jewel, winning the Santa Ysabel by a length. She'll carry 120 pounds, including
major contender is It Tiz, trained by Mark Glatt for owners Allen and Susan
Branch. The Tiznow filly defeated Crisp and another San
Clemente entrant, Crisis of Spirit, at Hollywood Park
in her previous start. It Tiz will be ridden by David Flores and will carry 118
pounds. Crisis of Spirit, trained by Bob Baffert, will be ridden by Martin
Pedroza and will carry 115.
other Sadler runner, Switch with Martin Garcia, will carry 119 pounds, the same
as the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained City
to City, ridden by Rafael Bejarano.
rest of the field includes Fortunia, double-entered by trainer Cash Asmussen
from Saturday's Osunitas Stakes; the O'Neill duo of Repo and Southern Fireball,
Weekend Magic, Canniption, Got an Itch and Our Georgia. The last-named three
will are on an also-eligible list.