Istanford Returns to Scene of Great Success

Istanford Returns to Scene of Great Success
Photo: Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire
 
Istanford, who recorded two of her five career victories when shipped to Del Mar from trainer Mike Stidham’s Midwest base last summer, is back to face a sizeable test Saturday when she faces 11 rivals  in the Osunitas Stakes. The event has a purse of $80,000 and is contested at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
 
Istanford won both the San Clemente Handicap and the Sandy Blue Stakes a summer ago under Rafael Bejarano, who will be in the irons again Saturday.
 
“She breezed on the turf course Tuesday and Bejarano was on her,” Stidham said.  “She really loves this turf course and I  really like the way she’s coming into the race.”
 
Istanford is winless in four starts since the Sandy Blue last August, three of them in 2015 at, in order, Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Gulfstream Park in Florida and Pimlico in Maryland.
 
“She didn’t run as well as we expected, so we freshened her back up pointing for this meet,” Stidham said.  “Hopefully it’s going to work.”
 
The field for the Osunitas, from the rail out: She’s Flush (James Graham, 20-1), My Monet (Gonzalo Nicolas, 20-1), Elektrum (Victor Espinoza, 7-2), Theatre Star (Drayden Van Dyke, 10-1), Aguafria (Kent Desormeaux, 12-1), Royal Temptress (Mike  Smith, 12-1), Istanford (Rafael Bejarano, 5-1), Famous Alice (Gary Stevens, 6-1), Chati’s On Top (Sal Gonzalez, 20-1), Personal Diary (Corey Nakatani, 8-1), Nashoba’s Gold (Joe Talamo,  8-1) and Gas Total (Flavien Prat, 9-2). The also eligibles are One More (Mario Gutierrez, 20-1) and Sweet as a Rose (Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1).  
Source - Del Mar
 

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