Stays in Vegas 5-2 morning line favorite in San Clemente

HorseRacingNation.com
July 21, 2016 12:13pm
Stays in Vegas wins 2016 Senorita
Photo: Benoit Photo/Santa Anita


Stays in Vegas drew the No. 10 post in a field of 11 and was made the 5-2 morning line favorite for Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 San Clemente Handicap.
 
The San Clemente, at a mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies, has the same grade and purse as the San Diego Handicap, which it will precede by two races on the program, and could prove to be more than an interesting warm-up act.
 
Stays in Vegas, trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Alex Solis, has a record of five wins, one second and one third from eight career starts. The only off-the-board finish for the Kentucky-bred daughter of City Zip was a fifth in the 2015 Del Mar Debutante. The first three finishers in that race: Songbird, Pretty N Cool and Land Over Sea.
 
The field from the rail out: Belvoir Bay (Florent Geroux, 4-1), Lady Valeur (Rafael Bejarano, 8-1), Be Mine (Flavien Prat, 3-1), Corps de Ballet (Joe Talamo, 20-1), Jade Princess (Victor Espinoza, 10-1), Princess Princess (Gary Stevens, 20-1), Sweet Queen (Brice Blanc, 20-1), Mirage (Alonso Quinonez, 20-1), Mokat (Kent Desormeaux, 6-1), Stays In Vegas (Alex Solis, 5-2) and Gone to Bali (Tyler Baze, 20-1).

‘CHROME DRAWS NO. 6 POST, MADE 4-T0-5 CHOICE FOR SAN DIEGO
 
California Chrome drew the No. 6 post position and was made the 4-5 favorite on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line for Saturday’s $200,000 Grade II San Diego Handicap.
 
Six rivals to Chrome were entered Wednesday, but their ranks could be diminished by one or two before the 2014 Horse of the Year, and No. 1 ranked runner in North America, makes his first start since winning the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26.
 
Leonard Powell, trainer of Soi Phet, indicated Thursday morning that his horse will likely face significantly lesser California-breds than California Chrome in the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Stakes on Sunday rather than horse racing’s all-time money earner a day earlier. And trainer John Sadler was prepared Thursday morning to enter Hard Aces in Sunday’s $100,000 Cougar II Handicap as an option to consider.
 
The field for the San Diego, as entered, from the rail out: Hard Aces (Santiago Gonzalez, 8-1), Dortmund (Gary Stevens, 2-1), Soi Phet (Kent Desormeaux, 12-1), Crittenden (Martin Garcia, 20-1), Follow Me Crev (Alonso Quinonez, 20-1), California Chrome (Victor Espinoza, 4-5) and Win The Space (Mike Smith, 8-1).
 
 “I like the draw, outside is good for me,” California Chrome trainer Art Sherman said Thursday morning. “(Espinoza) will be able to break and see what’s happening to his inside and go from there. Dortmund has speed and will probably go to the front. We should be able to get a good stalking position and sit second.”
 
In general, the most dreaded post for any major race is the No.1. But Sadler shrugged it off regarding 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita winner Hard Aces.
 
“It (No. 1) is not a big thing for him,” Sadler said. “He comes from behind and wouldn’t be contesting the early speed anyway.”
 
Eoin Harty, who conditions Crittenden, may have spoken for all trainers of horses not named California Chrome or Dortmund in assessing the race.
 
“I’m not concerned with the post as much as I am with the competition,” Harty said. “My horse is training well, ran well on the dirt last time out (second in the Oak Tree Handicap), he’s very fit and I don’t have a lot of other options with him right now.
 
“(Dortmund) hasn’t run since November and (California Chrome) hasn’t run since Dubai (March 26). It might be the right time to catch them.”
 
The San Diego Handicap will go as the ninth on a 10-race card with an approximate post of 6 p.m.

EQUINE CELEBRITY STAR WATCH: ‘CHROME, BEHOLDER, NYQUIST
 
California Chrome, Beholder and Nyquist all went through routine morning exercises Thursday – circling the paddock en route to the track for  galloping trips around the oval.
 
Trainers Art Sherman, Richard Mandella and Doug O’Neill all gave thumbs up to the efforts.
 
California Chrome has one more day of routine before Saturday’s San Diego Handicap. Beholder will have a serious workout “Saturday or Sunday,” Mandella said for the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes a week from Saturday. Del Mar racing officials announced the track will be cleared for a 10-minute period Saturday starting at 7:45 a.m. for Clement L. Hirsch candidates.
 
Kentucky Derby-winner Nyquist will work Sunday sometime between 6:30 and 7:45 a.m., trainer Doug O’Neill said, and ship next Wednesday to Monmouth Park in New Jersey for the $1 million Haskell Invitational on July 31.
 
SIX ENTERED IN COUGAR II, NINE FOR CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’
 
With the draw for post positions pending Thursday afternoon, there were six entered in Sunday’s $100,000 Grade III Cougar II Handicap and nine in the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Stakes for state-breds.
 
The Cougar II entrants in alphabetical order: Energia Fribby, Hard Aces, Hoppertunity, Infobedad, Quick Casablanca and Seve’s Road.
 
The California Dreamin’: Alert Bay, Ambitious Brew, Avanti Bello, Boozer, Magic Mark, Patriots Rule, Poshsky, Soi Phet and Somethings Unusual.
 
VALENZUELA DENIED REQUEST FOR JOCKEY’S LICENSE
 
The California Horse Racing Board issued a ruling Wednesday afternoon denying five-time Del Mar riding champion Patrick Valenzuela’s appeal to reissue his jockey’s license.
 
Accepting the recommendation of Hearing Officer Patrick Kane, the board ruling said Valenzuela could re-apply in one year “at which time he is advised to present evidence of rehabilitation, including the results of alcohol and drug testing performed on a regular basis, not less than once a week, along with other guidelines.” Valenzuela will be 55 in October.
 
CARMA POKER TOURNAMENT TOPS $86,000 FOR CHARITIES
 
The “Chips All In” charity poker tournament of the California Retirement Management Account (CARMA) last Saturday at the Hilton Del Mar Hotel raised more than $86,000 to help the organization  provide financial aid to more than 20 nonprofits which rehabilitate, retrain and relocate thoroughbreds that are no longer racing.
 
Texas Hold-Em poker tournament winner Paul Martino won a weekend stay at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas and theatre tickets provided by the MGM Grand Resorts International.
 
“This is our final CARMA Cares poker tournament so we’re very happy to have it go out on a high note,” CARMA Executive Director Lucinda Mandella said. “We’ve had a great nine-year run with this event, but we’re looking forward to bringing something new to our supporters next year.”
 
CLOSERSDave Hofmans, trainer of Melatonin, said the winner of the Santa Anita Handicap and Gold Cup at Santa Anita will start a workout series in preparation for  the TVG Pacific Classic “around August 1.” … Selected workouts from 119 on dirt and seven on turf officially timed Thursday: Dirt – Klimt (4f, :48.00), Mrazek (4f, :48.20), and American Cleopatra (6f, 1:13.40); Turf – Imperative (5f, 1:03.40), Obviously (5f, 1:00.40) … Barretts will be conducting a training preview of about eight horses for Saturday’s sale on the main track Friday morning at approximately 10:30 … Kenji Maeda, owner of Belmont Stakes third-place finisher Lani, outlined plans through 2017 for the Japanese champion for The Bloodhorse, and the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Del Mar is the climax to the campaign. Lani, now back in his native Japan, finished ninth in the Kentucky Derby and fifth in the Preakness before the Belmont. Lani is believed to be the first to be declared as targeting the Classic, the climactic event when Del Mar hosts the Breeders’ Cup Championships November 3-4 , 2017.

Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

 

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