Obviously, a two-time Del Mar Mile (G2) winner who was set to return in Sunday’s renewal, has been scratched.
Last seen finishing fifth in the November 1 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1), the Phil D’Amato veteran had ranked as the 5-2 morning-line favorite at Del Mar. Also the 124-pound highweight, he had drawn the far outside post 11.
Obviously will now await the September 13 Woodbine Mile (G1), according to published reports, a C$1 million event that also serves as a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile.
“He’s doing fine,” D’Amato told Jeremy Balan of the Blood-Horse, adding his rationale for heading to Woodbine. “Why not take a chance? He’s been doing so well, why not gamble a little bit with a million dollar ‘Win and You’re In’ race at equal weights? Because we’ve started late this year, the owners are OK with shipping around a bit to take a shot.”
Obviously’s Woodbine venture puts him on a collision course with two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan, who is plotting his comeback from a nearly year-long layoff in that spot. Further Woodbine Mile contenders should emerge from Sunday’s Play the King (G2), led by Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) hero Bobby’s Kitten and Kaigun. They were the placegetters, in reverse order, behind English shipper Trade Storm in the 2014 Woodbine Mile.
In the absence of Obviously at Del Mar, Brazilian superstar Bal a Bali stands to inherit the favorite’s mantle on Sunday. The Del Mar Mile pace scenario may also be moderated somewhat, but stretch-out sprinter Jimmy Bouncer could still show dash early. Talco certainly hopes for a robust pace, while Bal a Bali probably won’t be hostage to how the race unfolds.
Obviously photo courtesy of Benoit.