Del Mar Handicap 2013 Contenders at Del Mar Race Track

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - The Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap comes our way this Saturday, August 24 from Del Mar Race Track in beautiful Del Mar, California. Horses three years old and upward will be featured as they take to the track and go 1 3/8 miles on turf for a purse of $200,000.

A field of seven older horses will take part in the Del Mar Handicap - race 8 on Del Mar's Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:40 PM. Let's take a brief glance into the past performances of all seven entries for this Grade 2 stakes. A win here will mean an automatic berth into the Breeders' Cup Turf in November at Santa Anita.

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2013 Del Mar Handicap Race Favorite Entries

Vagabond Shoes - Irish bred gelding raced in North America for the first time in the Grade 2 Arcadia February 2 and finished ninth for trainer John Sadler and followed that with an equally disappointing eighth in the Grade 1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile March 3 at Santa Anita. Last time out was his best North American effort - a second in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes behind Jeranimo at 23-1 odds here July 20 after a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Hollywood Park in May. He had six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes in 20 starts overseas including a pair of group III wins in France and a third in a group III race in Germany in August. Vagabond Shoes is the 119 pound highweight for the Del Mar Handicap and one to watch Saturday.

Lucayan - French bred colt and Group 1 winner in her native land made his North American debut with a very nice second in the Grade 2 American Handicap May 25 right behind Obviously after eight starts in France produced three wins and two second place finishes including a win at 27-1 odds in the French 2000 Guineas May 13, 2012 at Longchamp. He has failed to place in his last three at home before shipping to North America before his second in the American Handicap. Last time out was a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track August 1 after a fifth in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile June 29. He now has three wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 11 career starts. Lucayan starts from the rail with Garrett Gomez aboard.

Del Mar Handicap 2013 | Remaining Contenders

Fire With Fire - made his graded stakes debut with a very good third last year's Del Mar Handicap but followed that with a sixth in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship September 30. He had a fifth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup December 15 and more recently ran second in an Allowance Optional Claiming to All Squared Away, had an OK fourth in the Grade 2 San Marcos February 8 and a second in another Allowance Optional Claiming February 3. Last time out was a nice win in the minor Joseph T. Grace Handicap at Santa Rosa August 4 after a fifth in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano in April and a decent third in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes here March 16. Fire With Fire hadn't tasted victory in over a year but has to be feeling good after breaking that slump only three weeks ago.

Old Time Hockey - Thomas Proctor trained gelding won the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap in this track last August 11 but went on to a fifth in last year's edition of the Del Mar Derby and hasn't tasted victory since. In fact he's placed in just one of six races since - a third in an Allowance in June at Hollywood Park. He has four Allowance starts this year with that third, a pair of fourths and a fifth place finish behind Lucayan but has had some success at Del Mar in the past.

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Holding Glory - Brazilian bred colt was impressive in her native land with four wins (including a Group 1 win) and a second in six career starts before debuting in North America with a respectable second in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track August 3. Saturday marks his second start in North America and his first in stakes company.

Huntsville - has 29 career starts for trainer Barry Abrams with just three wins - the last coming nearly a year ago in an Allowance at Santa Anita. He has eight starts this year with two seconds and two third place finishes - the thirds coming in his last two starts - both Allowance Optional Claiming on this track and one behind Holding Glory. He has yet to place in a graded stakes race but did have a respectable second January 26 in the minor Crystal Water Stakes at Santa Anita.

Mr T Bird - Mike Puype trained gelding raced in stakes company for the first time last time out and finished fifth in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here July 26 after eight career starts yielded just two wins and a third place finish. Before his stakes debut was an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Hollywood Park June 29 after an eighth and a fourth respectively in similar races this year at Santa Anita. His other win came January 17 in a Maiden Claiming at Santa Anita.

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