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Pender Off to Fast Start at Del Mar

When Bench Light won Thursday’s eighth race under Kent Desormeaux,, rewarding backers with an $18 return for a $2 win bet, it made trainer Mike Pender 3-for-8 for the meeting. He’s tied for third in the trainer standings and his 38 per cent win rate is tops overall.

Some consolation for Pender, who lost his chief client, B.J. Wright – owner of Jeranimo and Ultimate Eagle among other stakes winners – with Wright’s death a week before the meeting started.

“Like most connections we always point for the Del Mar meet and try to have them (horses) on full tilt coming in,” Pender said. “I’m heartbroken with Mr. Wright’s recent passing and not even these wins take the sting away, but it certainly helps.

"I’ve got some new owners who are helping to try and fill the void. Letting go isn’t easy. Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

DEL MAR JOCKEYS TO AUTOGRAPH PICTURES FOR PDJF SATURDAY

As a fundraiser for the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, Del Mar’s jockeys will turn out in force Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. arund the fountain in the Plaza de Mexico to autograph a picture of the riding colony shot on Opening Day.

The session is part of a national effort by riders at racetracks across America on July 26 to raise funds for disabled riders as well as to spotlight their plight. The PDJF currently pays 60 disabled riders $1,000 a month to help offset their expenses and medical bills. Since its founding in 2006, the fund has distributed some $5 million to disabled riders according to its website (www.pdjf.org).

While there will be no set fee for the autographed pictures, riders will have “boots” available to accept contributions to the PDJF.

 

 

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