Trainer Dallas Keen and crew were among the
first on site when the stable area opened for business on July 8 and
had their operation in full gear in a couple of days.
Keen, 56, campaigned at Del Mar from 1996-98 but was based in Texas
before returning for the 2011 season, in part lured by the Ship And Win
program which awards horses imported from out of California.
Wins have been few, but Keen still considers the Del Mar experience to be a positive one so far.
“Ever since I’ve been out here, everywhere in California, they’ve
treated me very well,” Keen said. “Here (Del Mar) they’ve claimed a lot
of horses off me but we’ve made money. I don’t think any of my owners
have lost any.”
The first horse Keen entered at Del Mar upon his 2011 return,
Deputiformer, was claimed away for $16,000 by Jeff Mullins. One year
later Keen claimed Deputiformer back for $8,000. The 8-year-old gelding
ended a 25-race losing streak with a victory at the Fair Grounds in New
Orleans and started a four-race winning streak. Deputiformer has five
wins in his last seven starts and is targeted to race here at the end of
July or early in August.
Keen said his wife, Donna, balked at the prospect of coming to
California initially, but now feels reluctant to leave when the season