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Obviously Solely Focused on BC Mile

Mike Mitchell, Del Mar’s all-time leading trainer for wins with 473,  got his first of the meeting of the stakes variety, and 32nd of his career, when Obviously defended his title in the  Del Mar Mile Handicap Sunday with a half-length victory over He Be Fire N Ice. So, it’s on to bigger things.

“He came out of the race great. Now we’re going with the same plan as last year,” Phil D’Amato, Mitchell’s son-in-law and assistant said Wednesday morning. “The City of Hope prep (at Santa Anita) and then the Breeders’ Cup.”

Obviously, third to Wise Dan in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Mile, received a 97 Beyer speed figure for Sunday’s race, down from the 107 and 106 marks winning the American Handicap and Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park. Not a concern to D’Amato.

“From the get-go this year, we’ve focused solely on the Breeders’ Cup as our main goal and there’s plenty left in the tank,” D’Amato said. “He’ll be fully cranked for the next two.

“He came home in (:22.92) and as close as it looked, I think they could have gone around again and he wouldn’t have let those horses by him. He’s doing great, I think he’s even more horse this year than he was last year at this time, and our main focus is the Breeders’ Cup.”

Mitchell’s stable will be aiming for another Del Mar stakes win when it sends out Sunday Rules in Wednesday’s $150,000 Generous Portion stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies. Sunday Rules is the 7-5 morning line favorite in a field of six.

Sunday Rules, a daughter of  Tribal Rule, won her career debut by 4 ½ lengths on August 3. “She showed us a ton of ability before she raced and in her maiden race; hopefully she’ll show it again today,” D’Amato said.



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