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Record Crowd Sees Mr. Commons Win Oceanside

Before the largest crowd in Del Mar history – 46,588, even-money favored Mr. Commons and jockey Mike Smith breezed to an impressive victory in the featured $112,100 Oceanside Stakes Wednesday on opening-day of the 72nd summer season of Thoroughbred racing “where the turf meets the surf.”

Outrun in the early stages of the one-mile grass race for three-year-olds, Mr. Commons, a handsome son of Artie Schiller, circled his rivals on the stretch turn and wasn’t pressured in the final sixteenth as he won by 1 1/2 lengths. Final time was 1:34.96, with the winner running his final furlong in less than 12 seconds.

Burns, an 11-1 longshot ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, ran well to be second, 1 1/2  lengths ahead of third-place Extensive, with Robbie’s War fourth in the field of nine.

Withdrawn from the original line-up were Chosen Miracle, Saddleranch, Anakin, Every Ego and Dr. Green.

Mr. Commons, owned and bred by the St. George Farm Racing, LLC of Ian and Carrie Banwell of Charlotte, North Carolina and trained by John Shirreffs, returned $4.20, $3.60 and $2.60 while earning first money of $67,260 with his third victory in six starts. Burns returned $8 and $4.80, while Extensive returned $3.60 to show.

In his previous race, Mr. Commons finished a non-threatening eighth behind Shackleford in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. The Oceanside Stakes marked the colt’s return to the grass surface over which he broke his maiden last January at Santa Anita.

Wednesday’s attendance exceeded the record set a year ago on opening day when 45,309 turned out. Total pari-mutuel handle Wednesday was $13,234,590 compared to the ten-race program a year ago when $12,461,60 was wagered, an increase of 6.2%.



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