Dice Flavor was well Sunday morning after providing jockey Garrett
Gomez with an exclamation point in his first day back from suspension,
and at the meeting, with a victory in Saturday’s $150,000 Grade II La
As for the actual exclamation Gomez voiced from horseback while
pumping his arm in triumph? “You don’t want to know,” Gomez said with a
smile Sunday morning. “I was just glad to be back and happy that things
worked out the way they did.
“To me, the biggest thing was the support from the fans. I had lots
of people, many I didn’t even know, come up and give me congratulations
and encouragement…lots of calls and texts from my friends.
“It was (gratifying) to show that I’m back and can still do what I’ve always done as well as ever.”
It was the third race, all in graded stakes, for Dice Flavor since
returning from a trip to Dubai in March for an eighth-place finish in
the United Arab Emirates Derby.
“If I ever have the chance (to race in Dubai), I’d do it again,” trainer Paddy Gallagher said. “It’s a great experience.”
Trainer Bob Baffert said that La Jolla runner-up Den’s Legacy came
out of the race fine and would be considered for the $300,000 Grade II
Del Mar Derby on Sunday, September 1.
Knust, Valenzuela Team Reunites
Comebacking jockey Patrick Valenzuela and his longtime agent Tom
Knust are back together as a result of the latest
Knust, who served as Del Mar’s racing secretary from 1992-99 between
stints of Tom Robbins, has represented Krigger for the past two years
and also had Valenzuela, until knee problems forced his retirement last
fall, and Mario Gutierrez when Valenzula was no longer riding.
Valenzuela returned on August 2, represented by Rick Evans.
“Patrick and I have had a long relationship, we work together well
and we’re best friends and he persuaded me to take his book,” Knust said
Sunday morning. “I thought about it a lot and in the end it seemed like
the right thing to do.
“Believe me, it was a tough decision. I think the world of Kevin
Krigger. He’s a talented rider and a very good person. Kevin’s a pro,
he knows how the game works and he’ll be fine. And Mario’s OK with it.”
Krigger’s new agent is Dudley Osborne, whose former clients include
Jose Valdivia, Jr. and Orlando Mojica. Osborne also represents Julien