2015 Del Mar Mile

Dave Bond | OTB Writer

Las Vegas, NV - Del Mar in Southern California will be the scene of the Grade 1 Del Mar Mile Handicap in Sunday, August 23. Horses three years old and upward will be after the winner's share of the $200,000 purse when they take to Del Mar's turf track and race one mile.

A field of 11 will take to the track in the Del Mar Mile - race 8 on Del Mar's Sunday card. Post time is 5:02 PM. Here is a glance into the past performances of all 11 combatants for this Grade 2 stakes.

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2015 Del Mar Mile Race Favorite Entries

Talco - French bred John Sadler trained colt has looked great this year - three wins and two second place finishes in five starts. He enters off great win in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita June 16 after a second to Bal a Bali in the Grade 3 American Stakes May 9 and consecutive wins - in the minor Thunder Road Stakes and an Allowance Optional Claiming in March - both on this track. He made his North American debut August 31 and finished a decent third in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby here also had an OK third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at Del Mar November 29. Before shipping he placed in five of six starts at home - two wins, two seconds and a third place finish. Talco now has five wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 15 career starts and enters this weekend in terrific form. Rafael Bejarano gets the call hoping to Talco's fourth win in his last five starts - from gate 2.

Bal a Bali - scorching up and coming 2014 Brazilian Triple Crown winner and Brazilian Horse of the Year - Richard Mandella pupil has 14 career starts - 12 wins and a third place finish! He made his North American debut May 8 and looked mighty impressive in winning the Grade 2 American Stakes over Talco but stumbled in his only other start on North American soil when he finished fifth in the Shoemaker Mile. Bal a Bali will look to bounce back and return to a more familiar winner's circle when he leaves from gate 4 with Flavian Prat aboard.

Del Mar Mile 2015 | Remaining Contenders

Obviously - 2012 and 2013 winner of this race Irish bred gelding races for the first time since a fifth in the Breeders' Cup Mile in November. He had two wins in his other three starts last year - the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile in June and the Grade 3 American Stakes in May - he won both of those races two straight years. Obviously failed to place in his last two starts of 2014 but hopes that his fortunes change around in his first start of 2015. He has 11 wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 22 career starts and looks to snap a two-race losing streak Sunday. Joe Talamo gets the call from an unfavorable outside post 11.

Pure Tactics - has 25 career starts with 10 wins, two seconds and four third place finishes. He enters off a good win in the minor Wickerr Stakes here July 22 which followed an OK third in the minor Siren Lure Stakes May 31 and a sixth in the Grade 3 San Simeon Stakes in April. He also had a victory in the minor Clocker's Corner Stakes in January. Pure Tactics has two wins and two third place finishes in five starts this year but has yet to place in graded stakes action in three tries. Mike Smith has been tabbed with changing all of that from the rail Sunday.

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Winning Prize - multiple Grade 1 winner and Argentinean bred colt had eight starts at home with five wins and a second place finish including two straight wins (the Grade 1 Joaquin S. de Anchorena in December, 2012 being the last). He recorded a terrific win in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes February, 2014 and a win in the 2014 Frank E. Kilroe Mile in gate-to-wire fashion a month later but has placed in just two of seven starts since. Winning Prize enters off an OK second in the minor Wickerrr Stakes here July 22 after consecutive fourths - in the Grade 3 American Stakes May 9 and in the minor Thunder Road Stakes in April and a fifth to start his 2014 campaign in the Grade 1 Frank E.Kilroe Mile. He ended 2014 with a pair of sixths in a pair of Grade 1 stakes as well. He hasn't been great lately but Winning Prize was a force 18 months ago. Jockey Martin Garcia will be in charge of getting Winning Prize back to that form when he leaves from gate 8 Sunday.

Jimmy Bouncer - impressive Doug O'Neill trained colt has four career starts - four wins. He makes his stakes debut off three straight Allowance Optional Claiming races - the last coming on this track July 29. Mario Gutierrez will be in the saddle hoping to keep the impressive roll going- from post 3.

Wilkinson - hit the track for the first time in nearly two years on July 22 and finished an OK third behind Pure Tactics in the minor Wickerr Stakes on this track. His last race before that was a second in the minor Harry F. Brubaker Stakes in August, 2013. In 2012 he won the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park and had a good second in the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes February 2, 2013 but has been up and down since. Wilkinson looks for his first win in 27 months Sunday but will likely be in tough. Tyler Baze gets the call from gate 6.

Avanzare - Tom Proctor pupil was last seen winning the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes way back on January 31. He now has six wins, three seconds and two third place finishes in 12 career starts. He ended 2014 with consecutive thirds - in the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes here November 29 and in the Grade 2 City of Hope Mile at Santa Anita October 4 and a win in the Grade 3 Washington Park Handicap last August. He has two wins and two third place finishes in his last four starts overall and hopes that rust isn't a factor Sunday. Gary Stevens has been tabbed to ride in Avanzare's first start in seven months from post 10.

Marchman - Keith Desormeaux trained colt was decent in 2014 - two wins, a second and two third place finishes to start his year including a good second in the Grade 3 Jaipur Invitational at Belmont Park last June 7, a win in the Grade 3 Twin Spires Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs in May and a win in the Grade 3 Shakertown Stakes at Keeneland in April. He stumbled at the end last year however - a sixth in the Grade 3 Woodford Stakes at Keeneland in October was followed by a thirteenth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. Marchman has just one start this year - a second place finish in an Allowance Optional Claiming July 22 after nearly nine months away. He hopes for his first win in 15 months when he departs from post 5 with Kent Desormeaux guiding him.

Di Giorgio - Ronald McAnally Argentinean trained entry won a Group 1 stakes at home in May 2013 - his last start there. He has placed in two of five North American starts including a third in the minor Clocker's Corner Stakes in January, 2014 and a third in an Allowance Optional Claiming in May. He enters off a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track July 22 and enters in less-than-spectacular form. Di Giorgio chases his first graded stakes score from post 9 with Felipe Valdez guiding him Sunday.

Kulik Lodge - has six career starts for trainer Tom Proctor with four wins and a second place finish. He makes his graded stakes debut off a disappointing fifth in his stakes bow - the minor Wickerr Stakes here July 22. Before that was a nice four race win streak including an Allowance Optional Claiming on this track a year ago. Kulik Lodge takes a huge leap up in competition and will be out to avenge his worst career performance last time out. Drayden Van Dyke has the mount from post 7.

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