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Las Vegas, NV - Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California will play host to the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on Saturday, July 18. A purse of $400,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/8 miles in Del Mar's turf track.
A field of seven will give it a go in the Eddie Read Stakes - race 4 on Del Mar's Saturday schedule. Post time is 3:42 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all seven entries for this Grade 1 stakes.
Finnegan's Wake - Peter Miller trainee has seven wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 31 career starts and had been on fire before consecutive fourth place finishes ahead of this weekend - in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 27 and in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 6. He had won four of his previous five starts before those results - the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 2 followed a second in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes and a three straight wins - the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes February 7, the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes January 3 and the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup here November 27. He also had a forgettable tenth at 58-1 odds in the Breeders' Cup Turf. Other good results include a win in the Grade 3 Arlington Handicap last July and a second in September in the Grade 2 John Henry Turf Championship September 28. He returns to turf looking to regain the dominance he had earlier this year and he gets to do it in arguably his favorite location. Victor Espinoza gets the call aboard the 123 pound high weight and likely favorite from the outside post 7.
Midnight Storm - lightly raced Philip D'Amato trained colt enters off a close second place finish in the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile which followed a nice three race win streak - an impressive 7 3/4 length wire-to-wire Allowance Optional Claiming in April, the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby in dominant wire-to-wire fashion at this distance back in August and an Allowance Optional Claiming score August 10. Before that was an eighth in a similar race in July and after breaking maiden in June - in his fourth career start. Midnight Storm has four wins and three seconds in nine career starts, has three wins and a second in his last four starts overall and is expected to be competitive again Saturday. Tyler Baze has the mount from post 3.
Gabriel Charles - won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview Stakes in 2013 and has just six starts since with one win which came in the 2013 Grade 2 Del Mar Derby at this distance, four seconds and a third that came in the Grade 3 American Stakes last time out at Santa Anita May 9. Before that third was a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming in April and 17 months away from the track. He has just 10 career starts with three wins, four seconds and a third place finish and has hit the board in his last eight starts overall - those results being spread out over 30 months. Gabriel Charles has been competitive when healthy and will have Mike Smith in the reins looking for his first ever graded stakes score.
Big Cazanova - Argentinean bred Peter Miller pupil has 23 career starts with four wins, six seconds and six third place finishes. He hasn't been great lately - a fifth last time out in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 27 followed a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Californian May 30 and a fifth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes in January. Before that he posted a nice gate-to-wire win in the Grade 3 Native Diver at Del Mar November 29. Big Cazanova has placed in just one of his last six starts overall and enters in so-so form from post 5. James Graham rides.
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Power Ped - made his graded stakes debut January 3 for trainer Neil Drysdale and finished a decent third behind Finnegans Wake and Patrioticandproud in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes and followed that with a win in the minor Cotton Fitzsimmons Stakes at Turf Paradise January 17 and a good second last time out - way back on February 7 in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita. He ended 2014 with consecutive runner-up finishes - the best coming five back in the minor Lure Stakes October 26. He has placed in nine of his last 10 starts overall with three wins over that span and looks decent ahead of this weekend. Gary Stevens has been tabbed to ride in Power Ped's first start in five months - from gate 4.
Twentytwentyvision - Richard Mandella trained gelding makes his stakes debut having placed in every career start so far - three wins, a second and two third place finishes. He enters off a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita June 12 after consecutive Allowance Optional Claiming scores on that same track in April and May. He looks ready for his step up in competition and will have Flavien Prat in the saddle from the rail.
Maltes - Brazilian bred gelding makes his North American debut Saturday having just recorded a good third in the Group 1 Joaquin S. De Anchorena and having won four of five starts at home before that. He has six wins in 11 starts overall along with a second and a third place finish and could be an intriguing threat to the field this week. Martin Garcia will be in the saddle Saturday from gate 6.
The Eddie Read Stakes, run for the first time in 1974, is 1 1/8 miles on the turf during Del Mar's summer meet. The race is named for late Del Mar Director of Publicity Eddie Read. Wickerr, Fastness, Special Ring, and Acclamation have each won the race twice.
Corey Nakatani and Bobby Frankel have the most wins in the jockey and trainer categories with five and seven, respectively. Four different owners have won the race to times with Edmund A. Gann (1981-82) and Prestonwood Farm (2003-04) each winning consecutive runnings of the race.
Special Ring holds the record for the largest winning margin with a five length victory in 2003 while Aragorn ran the fastest time in the history of the race when he won in a time of 1:44.79 in 2006, not only to set the race record but the track record at the distance as well.