Monster Bea, Lucky Bryan could benefit from speed duel in La Jolla

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

August 3rd, 2016

One week after teaming up to defeat three-time champion Beholder in the Clement L. Hirsch (G1) with Stellar Wind, trainer John Sadler and jockey Victor Espinoza look to take down another Saturday feature at Del Mar with Lucky Bryan in the $150,000 La Jolla H. (G3), a 1 1/16-mile turf prep for the Del Mar Derby (G2).

Lucky Bryan debuted for Sadler in the $78,000 Singletary at Santa Anita May 14. Third in that one-mile test, his first in seven months, the colt was a closing fourth in the $85,000 Rainbow over the same course next out, but put it all together July 16 over the Del Mar turf, taking a first-level allowance by a nose after rallying behind a moderate pace.

The fractions figure to be a lot quicker in the La Jolla with Mr. Roary and Imperious One likely to replicate their speed duel from the $117,000 Oceanside on opening day. The pair ultimately couldn't last against most of their rivals. The main beneficiary was 12-1 longshot Monster Bea, who romped home by 2 1/4 lengths in his first start for trainer Peter Miller. Moonlight Drive, runner-up in the Oceanside following a five-month spell, also returns for the La Jolla.

The lightly-raced Liam the Charmer has won or placed in all three turf outings, and came within a half-length of coming through as the favorite in the June 18 Rainbow. Dressed in Hermes, a three-time stakes winner, has gone unplaced in his last three, including a fourth in the Oceanside.

Other potential players include Ebadan, below par when beating just one to the line in the Oceanside, and the French invader Burger and Fries.

The $200,000 Sorrento (G2) attracted just six two-year-old fillies to travel 6 1/2 furlongs in what is the main stakes prep for the Del Mar Debutante (G1).

Leading contenders include Miss Southern Miss, runner-up in the $125,000 Landaluce following a debut win at Santa Anita; Auntjenn, a blowout 6 1/2-length maiden victor July 23; and Champagne Room, who could improve off her debut second over this track July 16.

(Benoit Photos)