Splendid Del Mar Meet Gets Underway
The racing action at Del Mar, “Where the Turf meets the Surf”, will kick off its summer season on Thursday. This coastal Southern California venue is among the most beautiful and successful meetings in the U. S. and a revamped turf course could help aid this year to be even better. A pair of graded races will top the opening weekend here, started by Saturday’s $200,000 San Clemente S. (G2) for sophomore fillies on the turf.
Tom Proctor’s Diversy Harbor has never run a bad one and the filly by Curlin comes off a nice second to a superb winner in the American Oaks (G1) last time out. The consistently good bay comes in fresh for a fine layoff outfit and should be moving best in the lane for an outfit that always shines at Del Mar.
My Conquestadory was one of the better juvenile fillies in training in 2013 and picked up where she left off in her lone 2014 try with a huge second in the Selene S. (Can-G3). The Mark Casse trainee has been training like a good thing since that May affair and gets back on her preferred turf surface on this occasion. Tiz the Key forced the pace until fading to be a decent fourth in the American Oaks, and she remains a danger for Richard Mandella. Group 3 import Sandiva, Senorita second and third Famous Alice and Morning Fix, and the capable Clenor, could add to the depth of this field.
Saturday’s undercard will be led by the $90,000 Osunitas S.
The Sunday headliner at Del Mar is the $300,000 Eddie Read S. (G1) on the turf. This nine-furlong turf test is sure to bring out some very good ones, and trainer Christophe Clement could saddle a pair in this one. Za Approval is winless in three tries this year but was a huge second in the 2013 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1) and has the back class to be a major player in this spot. Gelded son of Ghostzapper has been successful on previous trips out west and will be tough with a top showing. Summer Front was second in the Shoemaker Mile (G1) most recently and has been first or second in three of four runs this season. The five-year-old son of War Front will be coming on late with a big kick in the lane.
Also possible for this event is Thunder Road S. winner Tom’s Tribute, who was a nice third in the Shoemaker. Trained by James Cassidy, the chestnut colt by Lion Heart is in his best lifetime form and should be in the mix on this occasion. Multiple Grade 1 hero Obviously is a miler but could try this distance in superb form for Phil d’Amato, who has been on a roll himself. The six-year-old is a perfect 3-for-3 on the Del Mar lawn. Graded winner Mr Commons and Euro import Kokaltash, are also possible.
NICE FIELD LIKELY FOR ARLINGTON OAKS
The Saturday feature at Arlington Park is the $150,000 Arlington Oaks (G3), which is attracting a solid field for this race for sophomore fillies going nine panels on the Polytrack surface. Stellaris, Colonel Joan, She’s Offlee Good, Maria Maria and Aurelia’s Belle, are the top draws heading in this direction.