Del Mar Notebook - August 12

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 12th, 2015

A trio of graded races headlined the fourth week at Del Mar Race Course.

La Jolla H. (G2): Marty and Pam Wygod’s homebred PROSPECT PARK (Tapit) tracked in third before taking command in early stretch and posted a superb 4 ¼-length tally in his turf debut. Under the guidance of Kent Desormeaux, the talented sophomore colt went 1 1/16 miles in 1:41 2/5 for trainer Cliff Sise.

Best Pal S. (G2): Reddam Racing’s NYQUIST (Uncle Mo) made a powerful move in early stretch and carried it to the wire with relative ease, registering a 5 ¼-length romp beneath Mario Gutierrez. Favored at even-money, the well-regarded Doug O’Neill trainee clocked 6 ½ furlongs on the fast main oval in 1:16 4/5.

John C. Mabee S. (G2): Hronis Racing’s ELEKTRUM (High Chaparral) drove home between runners in an exciting four-horse finish and got her head down on the wire first, recording her first stakes victory for trainer John Sadler. The four-year-old import finished off nine panels on the firm lawn in 1:48 2/5 with Victor Espinoza in the silks.

Track Stats

From a total of 43 races held at the Southern California racetrack during the past week, favorites won at a 32 percent clip and the top two betting choices combined for 56 percent of the wins. From 30 frays contested on the dirt oval, four animals won in wire-to-wire fashion (13 percent), while two of the 13 grassy tussles went all the way on the lead (15 percent).

Speed on the main oval was not much of an asset early in the week, but forwardly placed runners did better on Saturday and Sunday. All four of the wire jobs on the dirt came in the form of a sprint event.

The lawn saw a pair lead throughout, but also produced a few last-to-first winners, so we would say the grass course played fairly. Of the two wire-to-wire winners on the sod, one came in a dash and the other in a route.

Meet Totals













46 (27 percent)



36 (21 percent)



7 (14 percent)



22 (19 percent)



Wednesday (8/5)

1ST – CHIPS ALL IN (North Light) proved that he still has some run left in him for sure after this narrow second in a very solid field for the level. The former graded winner will be tough next time for sure with even slight improvement.

5TH – LILY POD (Bernstein) dueled before opening a nice lead in the lane and held fairly well to be third in this dash under Rafael Bejarano. The sophomore filly won’t be a maiden for long with any kind of forward move for trainer Richard Baltas.

6TH – MRAZEK (Square Eddie) sped to the lead soon after the start and came home with excellent energy, pulling away late with Mario Gutierrez. The Doug O’Neill pupil is very swift and will be tough in the stakes ranks next time, likely with graded foes.

Thursday (8/6)

2ND – We’re not sure what MITKI WINS (Lookin at Lucky) beat at first asking in this heat, but the O’Neill filly overcame the rail and also ran down a clear one late in a professional score. Tab the juvenile lass a contender right back when she faces winners.

Friday (8/7)

6TH – DADDYS DUO (Scat Daddy) looked tough on paper in this event and delivered with a runaway score late for conditioner Keith Desormeaux. The sophomore miss likely will not be in for a tag anytime soon with performances like this one.

7TH – SHRINKING VIOLET (Congaree) made easy work of a very talented field in one of the top performances this week at Del Mar. The Wesley Ward trainee is classy and just dusted the favorite late in getting her final eighth in :11 1/5!

Saturday (8/8)

3RD – Trainer Phil d’Amato sent out a prospect to keep a close eye on in YOUNG BRIAN (Hard Spun) after this two-year-old colt looked like a star in the making under Bejarano. The Kentucky-bred got off a bit slow, went around his foes approaching the turn for home and then aired in the lane by a geared-down 10 ¼ lengths. He is bred to run longer and is quite intriguing to us.

5TH – Nyquist made us look bright in making easy work of a talented field in his second lifetime outing for O’Neill. The expensive two-year-old buy made a huge, sweeping move in early stretch and sent notice that he is among the top juveniles on the West Coast.

Sunday (8/9)

3RD – BEN’S DUCHESS (Munnings) sat in second for nearly every step of this sprint and was ultra game in getting up at the wire for Sadler. The three-year-old filly should be stakes bound once again in her subsequent outing.

7TH – DREAMARCHER (Archarcharch) was mostly one-paced in this first offering for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, though we think this one will be super tough when she gets two turns to work with in the near future. The juvenile filly is also bred to like the lawn and appears to have a bright future.

8TH – We always had a high opinion of Prospect Park, and it looks like the turf could be his best surface after this tour-de-force.

A Look Ahead

Saturday will play host to the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (G1), while the Sunday topper is the $100,000 Rancho Bernardo H. (G3).