By Dan Smith —-
RUN AWAY CAN’T HIDE FROM HIGH EXPECTATIONS IN BEST PAL
Kaleem Shah’s Klimt used a victory in the Best Pal Stakes as a springboard to another in the Del Mar Futurity and honors as 2-year-old of the meeting in 2016.
Now the founder and president of CalNet technology company, who maintains residences in San Diego and Vienna, Virginia, is seeking to repeat the initial step when he sends out Run Away in Saturday’s 47th running of the Grade II $200,000 Best Pal.
Klimt was trained by Bob Baffert, with whom Shah parted company at the beginning of the year. Run Away is trained by Simon Callaghan.
“Obviously, we’re hoping that (Run Away) can show he’s as good a horse as Klimt,” Callaghan said recently. “He’s got to step forward again, but I think there’s every chance he will.”
A Kentucky-bred son of Run Away and Hide, Run Away was a $325,000 purchase at the Barretts sale in March and has been undefeated in two career starts. He took a 4 ½-furlong maiden special at Santa Anita in May by 2 ¼ lengths and came back to win the 5 ½-furlong Santa Anita Juvenile Championship in July by 1 ½ lengths.
Run Away has had four workouts in the past month here.
“He’s doing really well,” Callaghan said. “He drew the No. 1 hole, which we wouldn’t have chosen, but except for that … He’s got lots of speed and he’s quick away from the gate, so I think he’ll place himself on or close to the lead.
“We’ve got him ready and I think he’s the one to beat. We’ve always thought he was a good horse, but it was good to see in his second race that he’s willing to battle and he wore the other horse down, fought off of him and was pulling away at the end.
“It’s what you like to see from one race to another, that development mentally.”
Chief among Run Away’s rivals in the field of eight: Baffert-trained Serengeti, an 11-length winner in his second career start in June at Santa Anita.
The field from the rail: Run Away (Flavien Prat, 8-5), Dia De Pago (Corey Nakatani, 20-1), Master Ruler (Evin Roman, 15-1), Armour Plate (Rafael Bejarano, 10-1), Serengeti (Mike Smith, 9-5), Fleetwood (Kent Desormeaux, 10-1), Arawak (Julio Garcia, 4-1) and An Ocala Ten (Victor Espinoza, 15-1).
NOMS ARE IN FOR TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC, DEL MAR ‘CAP AND OAKS
Nominations closed Thursday at midnight for the three major stakes on the Saturday, August 19 card—the Grade I $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks and the Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Handicap.
Late entries could still arrive via mail and supplemental entries, for a fee, can be received up until a deadline of Tuesday for the Classic or Wednesday for the Handicap and Oaks. Preliminary indications are for a field of around six, from 11 nominees, for the TVG Pacific Classic and double-figure fields for the Handicap and Oaks.
Nominated to the Classic are: Accelerate, Arrogate, Collected, Cupid, Curlin Road, Donworth, Giant Expectations, Hard Aces, Royal Albert Hall, Songbird and Sorry Erik.
For several of those nominees, the Classic – with North American No. 1 rated Arrogate – is not the race of choice among more than one option.
Trainer Keith Desormeaux said “I’m trying to talk myself into running in the Del Mar Derby,” with 3-year-old Sorry Erik, a winner of an allowance grass event here in July. Trainer John Sadler said Hard Aces will likely be switched back to turf in the Handicap. Trainer Peter Eurton said the Grade II $200,000 Pat O’Brien sprint on August 26 is the primary aim with Giant Expectations.
A decision regarding the excellent 4-year-old filly Songbird, who has accomplished almost everything possible against her own gender but has yet to run against males, isn’t likely before the Tuesday deadline.
San Clemente Handicap winner Madam Dancelot is a standout among 29 nominees to the Oaks which, unlike the Classic, appears to have piqued interest in the East. Eleven nominees would have to ship in from the opposite coast or overseas for the race. Among them, and considered “fifty-fifty” to run is New Money Honey, a Chad Brown-trained daughter of Medaglia d’Oro who won the Grade I Belmont Oaks in July at Belmont Park.
The top three finishers in the Eddie Read Stakes – Hunt, Ashleyluvssugar and Mr. Roary – are among 22 nominees for the Handicap. The field for the 1 3/8-mile turf test could also be bolstered by eastern invaders from the stables of trainers H. Graham Motion and Mark Casse.
SKYE DIAMONDS SLIGHT FAVORITE IN SUNDAY’S RANCHO BERNARDO
Trainer Richard Mandella was three years away from induction into racing’s Hall of Fame when he sent out Advancing Star to win the 1998 Rancho Bernardo Handicap for Golden Eagle Farm. The following year, Bill Spawr-trained Enjoy the Moment secured victory in the event for Farfellow Farms.
On Sunday, the veteran conditioners are given the best chances to be in the winner’s circle following the Grade III $100,000 6 ½-furlong sprint for the first time since their only previous scores when they saddle the favorites in the 46th running of the race.
Spawr’s Skye Diamonds was established Friday as the 8-5 favorite on oddsmaker Russ Hudak’s morning line. Mandella’s Bendable is 9-5 in the field of five.
From the rail out: Rockport Babe (Mario Gutierrez, 10-1), Bendable (Mike Smith, 9-5), Skye Diamonds (Tiago Pereira, 8-5), Constellation (Flavien Prat, 2-1) and Munny Spunt (Drayden Van Dyke, 15-1).
THEIR BREEDERS’ CUP RUNNETH OVER FOR DEL MAR 2017
Del Mar hosts the 34th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on November 3-4. It consists of 13 races with purses totaling more than $28 million over the two days capped by the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff on Friday, November 3 and the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday, November 4.
A victory in a “Win and You’re In” Challenge series race, of which there are 81 from January to October, guarantees a spot in a Breeders’ Cup race and other considerations.
Here are the horses who have qualified to date.
Winner Race Date BC Division
Legal Eagle L’Ormarins Queens Plate
Kenilworth, South Africa January 7 Mile
Bela-Bela Main Chance Farms Paddock
Kenilworth, South Africa January 7 F&M Turf
Gold Dream February Stakes
Tokyo, Japan February 19 Classic
Chautauqua Darley TJ Smith Stakes
Randwick, Australia April 1 Turf Sprint
Somewhat Star Doncaster Mile
Randwick, Australia April 1 Mile
Foxplay Queen of the Turf
Randwick, Australia April 1 F&M Turf
Kiriaki Gran Premio Criadores
Palermo, Argentina May 1 Distaff
Ordak Dan Grab Premio 25 de Mayo
Palermo, Argentina May 25 Turf
Top Casablanca Hipico de Santiago Falabella
Club Hipico de Santiago, Chile May 28 Mile
Bal a Bali Shoemaker Mile
Santa Anita June 3 Mile
Satono Aladdin Yasuda Kinen
Tokyo, Japan June 4 Mile
Mor Spirit Metropolitan Mile
Belmont Park, N.Y. June 10 Dirt Mile
Songbird Ogden Phipps
Belmont Park, N.Y. June 10 Distaff
Voador Magee Grande Premio Brasil
Hippodromo de Gavea, Brazil June 11 Turf
Forever Unbridled Fleur de Lis
Churchill Downs, Ky. June 17 Distaff
Gun Runner Stephen Foster
Churchill Downs, Ky. June 17 Classic
Satono Crown Takarazuka Kinen
Hanshin, Japan June 25 Turf
Birdie Gold Gran Premio Pamplona
Hippodomo de Monterrico, Peru June 25 F&M Turf
Curlin’s Approval Princess Rooney
Gulfstream Park, Fla. July 1 F&M Sprint
Imperial Hint Smile Sprint Stakes
Gulfstream Park, Fla. July 1 Sprint
Green Mask Highlander Stakes
Woodbine, Canada July 2 Turf Sprint
Mind Your Biscuits Belmont Sprint Championship
Belmont Park, N.Y. July 8 Sprint
Enable King George VI & Queen Elizabeth
Ascot, England July 29 Turf
Ransom The Moon Bing Crosby
Del Mar July 29 Sprint
Girvin Haskell Invitational
Monmouth Park, N.J. July 30 Classic
Stellar Wind Clement L. Hirsch
Del Mar July 30 Distaff
Here Comes When Quatar Sussex
Goodwood, England August 2 Mile
Gun Runner Whitney
Saratoga, N.Y. August 5 Classic
There are two “Win and You’re In” races on Saturday at Arlington Park in Chicago. The Beverly D is a qualifier for the $2 million Filly & Mare Turf, the Arlington Million for the $4 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Both are on Saturday, November 4.
O’NEILL DUO WORKS FOR $1 MILLION TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC
Donworth and Curlin Road, trainer Doug O’Neill’s pair for the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic, both breezed six furlongs on Friday morning.
Donworth, runner-up in the San Diego Handicap, was timed in 1:14.20 with interim fractions of :25.60, :38.20 and 1:02.20, galloping out seven furlongs in 1:27.40 under regular rider Mario Gutierrez.
Curlin Road, working in company with Mopotism was timed in 1:12.80 under Flavien Prat.
Arrogate, Accelerate and Songbird are scheduled to have final Pacific Classic tune-ups over the weekend. Plans are for Songbird to hit the track at 5 a.m. on Sunday, followed by Accelerate at 6:30. Arrogate will complete his Classic preparation Monday morning at 7:45.
SMITH TO BE FETED AT “WINNERS” FUNDRAISER PACIFIC CLASSIC NIGHT
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, who will become the 14th winner of the prestigious Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award on Sunday, August 20, will be feted for it the night before at a fundraising event for the Winners Foundation in downtown Del Mar.
Smith will meet and greet fellow horsemen and racing fans at the Del Mar Plaza on the deck just outside Il Fornaio restaurant from 7:30 to 9:30 pm. Earlier that day he will ride the superstar Arrogate in Del Mar’s premier race of the season, the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic. Joining him that evening will be Pincay, along with fellow jockeys and trainers, all of whom know and respect the two premier riders.
The Winners Foundation is an organization that for more than 30 years has aided those in racing affected by substance abuse and/or mental health issues.
Tickets for the event cost $100 and can be obtained at the Winners Foundation website ( winnersfoundation.org ), or by calling their offices at (626) 574-6498.
CLOSERS – Selected works from 139 officially timed Friday morning: Miss Sunset (4f, :49.40), Ann Arbor Eddie (5f, 1:00.60), Mrs McDougall (5f, 1:00.40), Curlin Road (6f, 1:12.80), Donworth (6f, 1:14.20), Irap (6f, 1:13.40), Mopotism (6f, 1:12.60), Noted and Quoted (6f, 1:12.20) and Paradise Woods (7f, 1:25.60).
DEL MAR STATISTICS
(Current Through Thursday, August 10, 2017 Inclusive)
Jockey Mts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Evin Roman 112 19 23 9 17% 46% $730,512
Flavien Prat 85 16 13 15 19% 52% $1,094,016
Rafael Bejarano 75 14 10 10 19% 45% $657,011
Joseph Talamo 63 10 7 6 16% 37% $484,705
Tyler Baze 84 8 14 12 10% 40% $519,495
Kent Desormeaux 50 7 13 6 14% 52% $481,225
Corey Nakatani 27 7 7 0 26% 52% $403,685
Santiago Gonzalez 40 7 3 8 18% 45% $304,578
Gary Stevens 32 7 3 5 22% 47% $436,938
Drayden Van Dyke 43 6 1 8 14% 35% $415,615
(Current Through Thursday, August 10, 2017 Inclusive)
Trainer Sts 1st 2nd 3rd Win% In-money% Money Won
Philip D’Amato 48 10 11 3 21% 50% $927,707
Doug F. O’Neill 50 9 6 6 18% 42% $468,350
Richard Baltas 45 8 8 3 18% 42% $584,209
Peter Miller 69 7 10 8 10% 36% $409,527
Mark Glatt 31 7 4 5 23% 52% $332,117
John W. Sadler 32 4 5 5 13% 44% $580,560
Peter Eurton 20 4 4 1 20% 45% $224,920
Simon Callaghan 19 4 2 1 21% 37% $180,140
Ronald W. Ellis 13 4 1 2 31% 54% $109,950
Thomas F. Proctor 9 4 0 2 44% 67% $238,038
Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Thursday, August 10, 2017 Inclusive)
Winning favorites — 41 out of 147 — 2789%
Winning favorites on dirt — 28 out of 92 — 30.43%
Winning favorites on turf — 13 out of 55 — 23.64%
Winning odds-on favorites — 9 out of 20 — 45.00%
In-the-Money favorites — 100 out of 147 — 68.03%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites — 17 out of 20 — 85.00%