Del Mar Feature Stakes on Wednesday

Stamina will be the order of the day Wednesday when Del Mar Thoroughbred Club presents the 69th running of the Grade III $100,000 Cougar II Handicap at a mile and one-half over the main dirt track.

Del mar chantal billboardWoodford Racing’s Campaign, proven at the distance via an easy triumph in the Grade III Tokyo City Handicap last April at Santa Anita, tops a seven-horse line-up in the mid-week headliner. His opposition includes likely second choice For the Top, an Argentine-bred horse trained by Bob Baffert;  veteran grass runner Itsinthepost, a winner of more than $1.2 million in his career competing on a dirt track for the first time, plus Zestful, Premium Forest, Original Intent and Morse Code.

Rafael Bejarano has the call on Campaign, who is highweighted at 123 pounds. Most recently, the Curlin colt was a good fourth, beaten less than a length, in the Brooklyn Invitational at Belmont Park in New York at the Cougar distance.

Other rider assignments and weights are Joe Talamo aboard For the Top at 119 pounds, Drayden Van Dyke aboard Itsinthepost, 121; Edwin Maldonado, Morse Code, 116; Kyle Frey, Premium Forest, 115; Abel Cedillo, Zestful, 115, and Assael Espinoza, Original Intent, 115.

Source: Del Mar

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Reports Gains

Del mar chantal billboardFollowing on the heels of a stellar summer season, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif., completed its fifth fall meet Sunday, highlighted by gains in total handle and four weeks of safe racing. All sources wagering for the 16-day session totaled $165,289,183, compared to the 2017 total handle of $154,069,710, an increase of 7.3 percent.

“The fall meet has found its niche and that’s important for the overall health of the California racing calendar,” said DMTC CEO Joe Harper. “All in all, we are pleased with the results and when you combine them with the summer and our continued efforts to provide the safest possible environment for our horses and riders, it was a terrific year.”

Del Mar’s 2018 fall racing festival had several standout performances, including a smart victory in the Grade I Hollywood Derby by Peter Brant’s Raging Bull on closing Saturday, then an equally impressive triumph by Uni – owned by Michael Dubb, Robert LaPenta, Head of Plains partners and Bethlehem Stable – the next day in the Grade I Matriarch. Both of those Eastern-based horses are trained by the country’s top conditioner, Chad Brown, and both were ridden by former three-time Del Mar riding champion Joel Rosario.

Trainer Peter Miller continued his hot run at Del Mar by winning his fourth fall conditioning crown with 15 victories, while jockey Drayden Van Dyke captured his first fall title with 17 wins. The pair had swept the 2018 summer honors previously with 31 scores for Miller and 42 for Van Dyke during the 36-day stand.

Del Mar will resume racing on Wednesday, July 17 for its showcase summer season, the 80th in its long and popular seaside run.

Source: Del Mar