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Evenly Matched Six Pack Set For Mabee

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Six evenly-matched older fillies and mares will tangle Sunday in what shapes up as a wide-open 55th running of the Grade II $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes at a mile and one-eighth over Del Mar’s infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Expected to vie for favoritism are familiar rivals E.N. Kronfeld’s Nereid, to be piloted by Joe Talamo, and Bilich, Cline and Schmitt’s Irish-bred Cambina, with Garrett Gomez in the irons. They deadheated for victory in the 2011 Grade I American Oaks.

Completing the Mabee line-up will be Gerald Gibbs’ All Star Heart, Brice Blanc; Charles N. Winner’s Imperialistic Diva, Patrick Valenzuela; L-Bo Racing, Pyle and Summer of Fun Stable’s Go Forth North, David Flores, and DeBurgh, Hollendorfer and DeDominico’s City to City, Corey Nakatani up.

Nereid, trained by John Shirreffs, will wear blinkers for the first time as she seeks to get back on a winning track after three losses this year. As a three-year-old, she was one of the top members of her division, deadheating in the Grade I American Oaks and finishing third, beaten only a half-length by Summer Soiree, in the Del Mar Oaks.

Most recently, Nereid was fourth to Quiet Oasis in the Royal Heroine Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Cambina, from the barn of trainer Jeff Bonde, will be dropping back in distance from the mile and one-quarter of the Beverly Hills Handicap in which she was nosed out by Capital Plan June 24. Her last success was her tie with Nereid in the American Oaks.

All Star Heart had a three-race winning streak ended when she finished eighth and last in the Royal Heroine Mile, Imperialistic Diva was seventh in the Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar July 21, Go Forth North was sixth in the Wilshire

Handicap in April, while City to City was seventh in the aforementioned Royal Heroine Mile. City to City won the 2011 Palomar Handicap at the seaside track.

Post time for the first race Saturday is 2 p.m., with the John C. Mabee Stakes carded as the eighth of nine races.

 

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