Las Vegas, NV - Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California will play host to the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap this Saturday, July 26. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they go 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's All Weather Track searching for the winner's share of the $200,000 purse.
A large field of 11 will line up in the San Diego Handicap - race 8 on Del Mar's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:30 PM. Let's take a brief look into the past performances of all 11 entries for this Grade 2 stakes - a major prep for the Grade 1 Pacific Classic.
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2014 San Diego Handicap Race Favorite Entries
Dance With Fate - will race for the first time since a sixth in the Kentucky Derby which followed a nice win in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes April 12. Before that win was a good second in the Grade 2 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate February 15 and another second behind Bond Holder in the Grade 1 FrontRunner Stakes September 28 - after a troubled second in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity September 4. He went on to a disappointing eighth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. Dance With Fate has three wins and three seconds in nine career starts and will run his seventh graded stakes race already. He will have Corey Nakatani aboard from post 6.
Frac Daddy - raced to a sixteenth in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and was fourteenth in the Belmont Stakes for trainer Kenneth McPeek but has looked much better in 10 starts since - four wins and three seconds. He enters this weekend off an OK second in the Grade 3 Dominion Day Stakes July 1 after a great win in the Grade 2 Eclipse Stakes June 1. Before that was a somewhat disappointing fourth in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park May 11, a 4 3/4 length win in the Grade 3 Ben Ali Stakes at Keeneland April 19 and a pair of good seconds - in the minor Maxxam Gold Cup at Sam Houston March 1 and in the Grade 3 Commonwealth Turf at Churchill Downs November 16. Frac Daddy has three wins and three seconds in his last seven starts overall - in the best form of his career. He returns home after a successful trip to Canada and will have Joe Talamo in the irons from post 3.
San Diego Handicap 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Imperative - George Papaprodromou trained gelding has 16 career starts with three wins, four seconds and two third place finishes and is coming off an OK third in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 28. This after a career defining win - in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic over Game On Dude and Clubhouse Ride April 19 at 26-1 odds. He had a somewhat disappointing seventh in the competitive Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 8 and a good second ahead of Game On Dude in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 8 and has placed in six of his last seven starts overall. Imperative has been competitive as ever in 2014. Kent Desormeaux gets the call from gate 2.
Summer Hit - synthetic specialist made his graded stakes debut for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer last April 27 and finished a very good second in the 2013 edition of the San Francisco Mile having won six of nine career starts. Since that time he has won five of 11 starts including wins in the Grade 3 All American Stakes in 2013 and 2014 and the Grade 3 Berkeley Handicap in November. Sprinkled in there are some sketchy results as well - a disappointing seventh in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes September 28 and a ninth in the minor California Cup Turf Classic at Santa Anita January 25 included. He is coming off a third in the minor Oak Tree Handicap June 21 after his most recent All American score and a second in the Grade 3 San Francisco Mile in April and has placed in his last five starts overall. Summer Hit is expected to be competitive again with Rafael Bejarano aboard from gate 8.
Fed Biz - Bob Baffert trained colt was last seen running sixth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile way back in November after a nice win in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar last August, a fourth in the 2013 Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes and a fifth in the Grade 1 Met Mile. He had a good win in the Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes January 12, 2013 as well. Other results include an OK third in the Grade 2 Strub February 2, 2013, a third in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile March 2 and a second in the minor Thunder Road Stakes at Santa Anita April 6. Fed Biz hits the track for the first time in eight months Saturday, is 2-fot-2 on Del Mar`s main track and will have Martin Garcia guiding him from the outside post.
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Handsome Mike - has just three wins in 26 career starts including out of nowhere in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby in September, 2012 and in April, 2013 at the Grade 3 Commonwealth Stakes - the only time he placed in his first nine starts last year. He has been better lately placing in three of his last four starts overall - a second in the minor American Flag Stakes last time out July 4, a second behind Fury Kapcori in the Grade 3 Precisionist Stakes May 3 and a third in the Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes April 13 - with a sixth in the Grade 2 Californian sandwiched in there. He ended 2013 with an eighth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint and a third in the Grade 3 Vernon O. Underwood Stakes. He looks for his first win since April, 2013 (12 starts) with Mario Gutierrez aboard from post 9.
Battier - Michael McCarthy trainee has placed in just one of his last five starts - a fourth and fifth most recently in a pair of Allowance races followed a fifth in the minor Gravesend Handicap at Aqueduct in December and a third in the minor Time for a Change Stakes in November. He did place in two of five graded stakes races last year - thirds in the Grade 3 National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes in August and in the Grade 2 Pennsylvania Stakes in September but he hasn't been great since. Battier lines up from the rail with Victor Espinoza in the reins.
Soi Phet - has 27 career starts with seven wins, two seconds and two third place finishes and enters on a nice two race win streak - by 3 3/4 lengths in the minor Bertrando Stakes last time out July 3 at Los Alamitos and a Starter Handicap at Santa Anita June 8. He failed to place in four starts prior including a sixth in the 2014 Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes and a fifth in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes but has looked much better since that stretch. He also had a four race win streak last summer - three Allowance races at Del Mar and a Starter Allowance at Hollywood Park in June. Soi Phet leaves from post 4 with Mike Smith in the saddle, looking to make it three straight wins.
Footbridge - Eion Harty trained colt will race just his second graded stakes race Saturday - the other resulted in a fourteenth place finish in the 2013 Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland. He enters having placed in four straight starts - a second last time out in the minor Oak Tree Handicap followed a pair of Allowance Optional Claiming scores on this track and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming also here in March. Footbridge has 11 career starts with three wins, three seconds and two third place finishes and enters in so-so form with Tyler Baze guiding him.
You Know I Know - John Sadler trained gelding made his stakes debut last August 25 and finished a very respectable third at 40-1 odds in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic and followed that with a disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita September 28 and finished his 2013 campaign with an OK third in the Fayette Stakes at Keeneland in October. He has just two starts this year with unflattering results - a fourth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita June 21 followed a sixth in the Grade 3 All American Stakes at Golden Gate in May. He now has 22 career starts with five wins, a second and five third place finishes and enters in sketchy form. He has placed in just one of his last four starts overall and hopes to snap that tend with Edwin Maldonado aboard from gate 5.
Honduran - makes his stakes debut Saturday after 10 career starts resulted in two wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. He is coming off a fourth in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita June 19 after a win in a similar race in May and consecutive thirds in Allowance Optional Claiming races this past March. Drayden Van Dyke rides from post 7.