DEL MAR Callaghan in position to complete rare feat
DEL MAR, Calif. – Simon Callaghan has put himself in position to sweep the Grade 1 races for 2-year-olds at Del Mar the final weekend of the meet, something only three trainers have done in the past 25 years.
“It’s why we do it, isn’t it?” Callaghan said Monday morning. “We have [horses] that are good enough, obviously top contenders in their divisions.”
Callaghan will send out the unbeaten colt Run Away in the Del Mar Futurity on closingday Monday, and will enter – and likely run – Moonshine Memories in the Del Mar Debutante for fillies Saturday. Both races are worth $300,000 and are at seven furlongs.
Should he win both, Callaghan would match the feats of Bob Baffert, who won both in the same year five times – in 2012, 2001 and from 1997-99 – as well as Richard Mandella in 2003, and Ron McAnally in 1994.
Run Away completed his serious preparation for the Futurity on Monday, one week in front of the race, with a halfmile drill in 47.80 seconds that was accomplished as easy as one might want.
“That was perfect,” Callaghan said. “He seems to be loving this track. He’s on a perfect path, it seems.”
Run Away won the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes here in his last start Aug. 12. His Futurity rivals are expected to include Bolt d’Oro, Dia de Pago, Fleetwood, Gracida, Soul Streit, Tatters to Riches, and Zatter.
Dia de Pago, runner-up in the Best Pal, worked five furlongs Monday in 1:00.40 for trainer Vladimir Cerin.
Moonshine Memories, winner of her debut on Aug. 19, would be wheeling back in just two weeks for the Debutante, which is one reason Callaghan wanted to see how she handled a workout on Sunday, when she went a half-mile in 49.40 seconds. On Monday, Callaghan said Moonshine Memories “seems to have come out of the race really well and is showing all the right signs.”
In addition to Moonshine Memories, those expected to enter the Debutante on Wednesday include Dancing Belle, Gabrielleelizabeth, Gas Station Sushi, Just a Smidge, Piedi Bianchi, Poetic, and Spectator, who worked five furlongs in 1:01.20 on Monday.
Seven stakes over three days
The Del Mar Debutante and Del Mar Futurity are the richest and most significant of the seven stakes that will be run over the final three days of the Del Mar meet, which ends Monday, and there will be multiple stakes all three days.
Supporting the Debutante on Saturday is the Grade 2, $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes. The Mabee is a 1 1/8-mile grass race for females that could have a maximum field of 14, including Cambodia, Pretty Girl, and Amboseli, the top three in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Aug. 5.
Also expected for the Mabee are Barleysugar, Decked Out, Frenzified, Hillhouse High, Insta Erma, Jeremy’s Legacy, Lady Valeur, Madame Stripes, Majestic Heat, and Mrs. McDougal. Both Goodyearforroses and Harmonize are possible.
Another large field is shaping up for the Grade 2, $250,000 Del Mar Derby on Sunday, with La Jolla winner Sharp Samurai topping a roster expected to include Arms Runner, Big Score, Bowies Hero, Colonist, Double Touch, Harbour Master, Kings River King, Marckie’s Water, Ritzy A.P., and Sorry Erik. Fashion Business and Monster Man also are possible for the 1 1/8-mile grass race for 3-year-olds.
Also Sunday is the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf at one mile for 2-year-olds, with Del Mar turf maiden winners Bombardeo and Encumbered among those expected.
The Futurity is one of three stakes on the closing-day card Monday. Also Monday is the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf at one mile – with maiden turf winners Medaglia Gold and Multiplayer topping the field – and the $75,000 CERF Stakes for female sprinters, in which 3-year-olds Miss Sunset and Noted and Quoted are expected to take on their elders over six furlongs.
Paradise Woods ‘stiff and sore’
Paradise Woods, who finished sixth of seven as the heavy favorite in the Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar on Sunday after stumbling at the start, was “stiff and sore” Monday morning, trainer Richard Mandella said.
“She scrambled pretty badly leaving the gate,” Mandella said. “It was her own fault. She freaked out in the gate. She looks fine other than being a little stiff, and her back’s a little sore.”
The Torrey Pines was the first start since the Kentucky Oaks for Paradise Woods, who won the Santa Anita Oaks in April.
◗ Champagne Room, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, continued her strong series of works for her return with a fivefurlong move in 1:00 on Monday morning for trainer Pete Eurton.
◗ Test winner American Gal worked a half-mile in 49.60 seconds for trainer Simon Callaghan. She is expected to have one race, yet to be chosen, prior to the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint on Nov. 4 at Del Mar.