Race Preview: San Clemente Stakes - Del Mar, July 21, 2013

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Matt Carter

July 21st, 2013

The feature race on Sunday is the Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap three-year-old fillies. The one mile turf race drew a field of 11, but after the scratches of Foxy Boss and Broken Sword, nine will break from the gate.

The lukewarm morning line favorite for the race is Iotapa, who is making her turf debut for trainer John Sadler. The daughter of Afleet Alex has only won on both dirt and synthetic so the surface switch should not lose a problem. It still remains to be seen; however, if Iotapa is a better one-turn filly. Her two "worse" starts were around two-turns. Why the quotations? Because those two races were in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks and Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks. Where did she finish in those races? Second, both times.

The rest of the contenders are all familiar with the turf. Unusual Way just win a state-bred states up north in wire-to-wire fashion and enters the San Clemente as inside speed. She must deal with Lilbourne Eliza, who has been second in two of her three U.S. starts after coming over from England.

Wishing Gate ships west from Arlington Park for trainer Tom Proctor and she worked well enough a couple of weeks ago over the main track. She will be closing under jockey Gary Stevens. Charlie Em won her stateside debut in May in the Grade 3 Senorita then regressed a bit last month in the Honeymoon Handicap. A rebound off that effort would put her right there at the wire.

Judy In Disguise is an interesting runner at 6-1 on the morning line. She is trained by Simon Callaghan and ridden by Rafael Bejarano, connections that must always be respected. She is winless in her last four starts, but now the blinkers go on and she can get a good stalking trip from just off the speed.

Judy In Disguise will need the run of the race if she is to overtake Iotapa.

First post at Del Mar on Sunday is 5:05 pm ET with the San Clemente off at 8:40.