The Wickerr Stakes victory on Wednesday by Indy Point for Richard Mandella was the Hall of Trainer’s 50th stakes victory at Del Mar in a career that has covered more than three decades at the track.
Mandella ranks fifth on the track’s all-time list , behind Robert
Frankel’s 70 wins and ahead of the 48 for D. Wayne Lukas. The Wickerr
was one of three victories on the day for Mandella. Gary Stevens guided
Station House to an impressive victory in the third race, a one-mile
turf event that was the 2-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten’s racing debut.
Stevens was also aboard for Indy Point’s 1 ¼-length victory in the
Wickerr, another one-mile turf run. Edwin Maldonado did the honors
aboard Indycott in the eighth-race nightcap.
“A pretty good day,” Mandella said. “Station House has always
impressed us as a good colt. Particularly when he breezed here over the
synthetic. I just had a feeling about starting him on the turf.
Sometimes a feeling is just indigestion. Sometimes it works out.”
Station House is being targeted for the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf on the
closing day of the meeting, Wednesday, September 4 and the Breeders’
Cup Juvenile Turf in November at Santa Anita.
Indy Point, a 4-year-old import from Argentina, made his U.S. debut and recorded his sixth win in 13 career starts.
“He came in with a big reputation and it was just up to me not to screw it up,” Mandella said. “So far, so good.”
Asked about Stevens, who increased his win total for the meeting to six, Mandella’s wry sense of humor came into evidence.
“Apparently he must have learned something being on television
(commentating) and watching the other guys do it,” Mandella said. “He’s
come back pretty well.”