Las Vegas, NV - Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California will be the scene of the Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap in Saturday, August 9. A group of three year olds will chase the winner's share of the $150,000 purse when they go 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's much maligned turf track.
A small field of six will line up in the La Jolla - race 5 on Del Mar's Saturday card. Post time is 4:00 PM. Here is a glimpse into the past performances of all six entries for this Grade 3 stakes - an important prep for the Del Mar Derby August 31.
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2014 La Jolla Handicap Race Favorite Entries
Enterprising - has placed in seven of eight career starts for trainer Tom Proctor and enters having won two of his last three starts overall - the minor Oceanside Stakes on this track last time out July 17 and the minor Pasadena Stakes in March with a third in the La Puenta Stakes at Santa Anita in April sandwiched in there. He also won the minor Eddie Logan Stakes early on in his career. Enterprising has one graded stakes start to his name - a third in the Grade 2 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate in February. He enters in very good form and looks like the one to beat with Mike Smith in the irons of the 122 pound highweight from the outside post.
Argyle Cut - Has looked good in the last 6 1/2 months - a win and four seconds in his last five starts but Saturday marks his graded stakes debut. Argyle Cut is coming off a pair of seconds in minor stakes action - the Oceanside Stakes behind Enterprising last time out on this track July 17 followed a close second in the Singletary Stakes at Santa Anita June 21 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Golden Gate in May. He has 10 career starts with two wins, six seconds and a third place finish and hopes to carry his success into graded company Saturday. Corey Nakatani gets the call from the rail.
La Jolla Handicap 2014 | Remaining Contenders
Schoolofhardrocks - will race for the seventh time for trainer David Hofmans. He broke maiden at first asking last August and followed that with a fourth in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 8. He has been up and down since. Last time out was a fourth in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington July 12 after an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 31 at Santa Anita and a second in the minor Desert Code Stakes May 3. Schoolofhardrocks has two wins and a second place finish in six career starts and enters in OK form. Martin Garcia rides from gate 2.
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Tonito M. - Puerto Rican sensation made his North American debut in May for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and recorded a respectable second in the Grade 3 Lazaro Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita and followed that with a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Woody Stephens at Belmont Park June 17 and an OK third last time out in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby July 5. Before shipping he had an impressive three race win streak - in the Grade 3 George Washington Stakes at Camarero February 16 after and Allowance score in January and a good win in the Grade 1 Classic Agustin Mercado Reveron in December. He has won six of his 10 career starts with two seconds and a third sandwiched in there - all at different distances - impressive indeed. Victor Espinoza gets the call from gate 5 Saturday as Tonito M looks for his first win in four starts on American soil in his first start on turf.
I'll Wrap It Up - Doug O'Neill trained gelding enters having finished fifth in consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming races - the last coming on this track July 19. He does have graded stakes experience - an eighth in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby in February and a fourth in the Grade 3 Sham Stakes in January. He has 12 career starts with just one win, a second and three third place finishes and will be looking to snap out of a recent rough patch with Elvis Trujillo in the saddle from post 3.
Sammy Manderville - Doug O'Neill trained colt has just four career starts with just one win to show for it - a maiden score in his second career start. He enters off a fourth in the minor Oceanside Stakes on this track July 17 after a fifth in an Allowance at Belmont Park in June. He steps into graded stakes company for the first time and looks over his head. Rafael Bejarano gets the mount from post 4.