An evenly matched field of
older grass runners will be heading into Del Mar's first Grade I race of the
meeting Saturday as seven were entered Wednesday for the 37th running of the
$300,000 Eddie Read Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The ultra-consistent The
Usual Q.T. heads the field, but will draw plenty of competition from turf
veterans and top money earners Acclamation, Loup Breton, Enriched, Victor's Cry
and Crowded House, an invader from England and Dubai, where he ran in this
year's Dubai World Cup.
Trainer Jim Cassidy's The
Usual Q.T., who will be ridden by regular jockey Victor Espinoza, comes to the
race from an allowance victory at Hollywood Park in a comeback race from a
fourth-place finish in the Group I Dubai Duty Free in March. The
California-bred son of Unusual Heat broke his maiden last August at Del Mar,
starting a six-race winning streak. His record shows seven wins and four
seconds in 14 career starts and $813,320 in earnings.
"The horse is doing very well and continues to be very
consistent," Cassidy said. "I expect him to be off the pace and come running at
the end, which is his style. I think there'll be plenty of speed in the race to
set that up."
Victor's Cry, with $350,633
in purse money, figures to be a factor as the field turns for home. "I'm
excited about running in here," trainer Eoin Harty said. "It looks like a great
spot for him, and I'm hoping he'll perform as expected." Corey Nakatani has the
Second on the race's list of earners is the Julio
Canani-trained Loup Breton at $745,712. He has two wins, a second and a third
in six outings for Canani, with the third-place finish in Churchill Downs'
Grade I Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on Kentucky Derby day maybe his best race
of all. Rafael Bejarano rides.
Acclamation, on a two-win
streak before fading to ninth in the Grade I United Nations Handicap at
Monmouth Park on July 3, gets Christian Santiago Reyes back for the fourth
straight time, and the invading Crowded House, with earnings of $715,400, will
be ridden by Tyler Baze.
5-year-old half-brother to the retired multiple Grade I winner and 2006 Pacific
Classic victor Lava Man, will be ridden by defending Del Mar riding champion
Joel Rosario for trainer Doug O'Neill. Hyades, trained by Ben Cecil, rounds out
the field with Martin Garcia in the irons. Hyades has been no worse than fourth
in six starts since coming to Cecil from England, including a solid third,
beaten a half-length in Hollywood Park's Grade II American Handicap on July 4.