OffTrackBetting.com - The Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap Presented by The Japan Racing Association comes our way this Saturday, August 20 from Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California. Horses three years old and upward will be featured when they take to Del Mar's turf track and race 1 3/8 miles for the winner's share of the $250,000 purse.
A full field of 12 will give it a go in the Del Mar handicap - race 8 on Del Mar's stacked Saturday schedule. Post time is 5:43 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all 12 combatants for this competitive Grade 2 stakes - a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Turf .
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Ashleyluvssugar 3-1 - defending runner-up has 15 career starts for trainer Peter Eurton with six wins, two seconds and three third place finishes. Last time out was a good second in the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes here July 17 which followed an OK third in the minor Crystal Waters Stakes at Santa Anita June 11,10 months away from the track, a respectable second in last year's Del Mar Handicap, an uncharacteristic sixth in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes at Monmouth July 5, 2015 and a nice three race win streak in 2015 - in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes May 24, by 2 1/4 lengths over Finnegan's Wake in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes March 21 and an Allowance Optional Claiming score in February. Ashleyluvssugar has placed in six of his last seven starts and looks to regain the form that saw her look unstoppable 16 months ago. Gary Stevens has been tabbed with accomplishing that goal on the tepid morning line favorite from gate 8.
Flamboyant 7-2 - French bred Peter Gallagher trained gelding was last seen running an OK third in the Grade 3 Eddie Read Stakes on this track July 17 after a quality fifth in the Group 1 Dubai Turf at Meydan March 26 against some of the best turf horses on the planet. He looked terrific before that winning the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in February and the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at 46-1 odds in January - both at Santa Anita. He placed in just one of eight starts before that however including a sixth six starts back in the 2015 Del Mar Handicap, a sixth in the minor Wickerr Stakes last July and another sixth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby in November, 2014. Flamboyant has been good in 2016 and now has five wins, three seconds and five third place finishes in 21 career starts. He hopes to channel his early-2016 form from post 7. Flavien Prat has the mount on the second betting choice.
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Metaboss 4-1 - won the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate July 14, 2015 and has been just OK in five starts since for trainer Phil D'Amato. Last time out was an Allowance Optional Claiming score here July 23 after a fourth, a third and a sixth respectively in a trio of Allowance Optional Claiming races earlier this year, 11 months away from the track and a sixth in the Grade 3 Spiral Stakes at Turfway Park in March, 2015. Metaboss now has three wins, a second and two third place finishes in 10 career starts and hopes to channel the form we saw 18 months ago when he won the Spiral. He enters in so-so form from gate 4 with Rafael Bejarano guiding the morning line third choice.
Quick Casablanca 8-1 - Chilean bred Ronald McAnally trainee was terrific at home placing in all 11 starts including a win in the Group 1 Asociacion Latinoamericana in 2012. He was OK once he arrived in North America - a win in the Grade 3 Last Tycoon Stakes in April, 2014 and a second in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Stakes two months later being the best results. He failed to place in five starts in 2015 but has been better in 2016. Last time out was a decent second on dirt in the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap here July 25 which followed an ugly seventh place finish in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes at Santa Anita May 29, a nice win in the Grade 3 San Juan Capistrano April 10, a second in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes March 13 and a third in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in February. Quick Casablanca has placed in four of his last five starts overall and is expected to be competitive again Saturday. Tyler Baze gets the call from gate 2.
Finnegans Wake 8-1 - Peter Miller trainee has eight wins, four seconds and four third place finishes in 36 career starts and was on fire at the beginning of 2015 when he placed in five straight starts (four wins) - a win in 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 victories - 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, 2014. He hasn't been all that great since - a fifth last time out in the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes here July 17 followed an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Santa Anita June 16, a fifth in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Stakes May 29 and a sixth in the Grade 3 Thunder Road Stakes April 9. He also posted consecutive fourth place finishes last year - in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 27 and in the Grade 1 Manhattan Stakes at Belmont Park June 6. Finnegans Wake looks for his fifth graded stakes score and first in over a year from post 9 with Kent Desormeaux in the reins.
Express Himself 8-1 - Irish bred John Sadler trained gelding makes his North American debut Saturday after 21 career starts at home yielded four wins, three seconds and five third place finishes. Last time out was a second in a Handicap at Ayr June 18 which followed a third in a similar race June 2 and off-the-board finishes in his previous three starts. His last win came in October. Express Himself tries for a first stakes score and enters in decent form having posted some quick times the last few months. Victor Espinoza is scheduled to ride from gate 6.
Wanstead Gardens 12-1 - made his stakes debut November 26 for trainer Neil French and finished sixth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup and followed that with a tenth in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes in January. He was away from racing for nearly seven months before an Allowance optional Claiming score last time out on this track July 30. He now has four wins, three seconds and a third place finish in 16 career starts and has placed in just one of his last four starts overall. He looks for his second straight win in his second start in eight months - from post 3 with Santiago Gonzalez aboard.
Power Foot 20-1 - Neil Drysdale trained gelding has just four wins and six third place finishes in 27 career starts. He started 2015 with an Allowance Optional Claiming score (his last win) and went on to consecutive respectable runner-up finishes - the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes in February and the 2015 San Luis Rey Stakes in March. He has failed to place in his last three races ahead of this weekend - a fourth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming here July 30 followed a fifth in the Grade 2 San Luis Rey Stakes March 13 and an ugly seventh in the Grade 2 San Marcos Stakes February 6. Before that was an OK third in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup in November, an eighth in an Allowance Optional Claiming October 30 and a fourth in the Grade 3 Last Tycoon Stakes in last April. Power Foot hasn't been great and hopes to turn his fortunes around from post 5 Saturday. Norberto Arroyo gets the call.
Texas Ryano 20-1 - has 14 career starts for trainer Carla Gaines with four wins, two seconds and two third place finishes. He made his graded stakes debut in November and finished a disappointing eighth in the Grade 2 Hollywood Turf Cup after a fifth in an Allowance Optional Claiming October 30 and two straight wins - the minor King Pellinore Stakes September 27 and an Allowance Optional Claiming September 5. He has three starts in 2016 - a seventh last time out in the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes here followed a second in an Allowance Optional Claiming June 16 and a sixth in the Grade 2 San Gabriel Stakes at Santa Anita in January - both results at Santa Anita. Texas Ryano has looked OK against lesser company but has failed to place in four of his last five starts overall. He leaves from the outside gate 12 searching for his first graded stakes score with Joe Talamo in the reins.
Belisarius 20-1 - Irish bred Peter Miller trained gelding has just two wins, seven seconds and four third place finishes in 22 career starts. He makes his graded stakes debut having failed to place in her last five starts overall - consecutive fifths in Allowance Optional Claiming races this past summer followed another fifth in the mi nor Belmont Gold Cup Invitational in June, a fourth in an Allowance in April and a seventh in an Allowance Optional Claiming in February. He steps up in less-than-spectacular from and will have Junior Alvarado in the saddle from the rail.
El Huerfano 20-1 - Peter Miller trained colt has 17 career starts with four wins, a second and three third place finishes - his best results were a win in the minor Golden Bear Stakes at Sacramento last July and a third in the minor Robert Dupret Derby in August, 2015. He arrives off a third in the minor McCann's Mojave Handicap at Santa Anita June 26, a sixth in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes on that track May 22, an Allowance Optional Claiming score March 30, a third, a sixth and consecutive fourths in similar races around California. El Huerfano has been just OK so far and will need a special effort to contend Saturday. Brice Blanc rides from gate 10.
Patentar 20-1 - French bred Simon Callaghan trainee had two wins and three third place finishes in 11 starts in Europe and has five starts in North America with OK success. Last time out was a disappointing sixth in the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes here July 17 after a respectable second in the Grade 2 Charles Whittingham Memorial Stakes at Santa Anita May 29, a good win in an Allowance Optional Claiming February 7, an eighth, a third and a seventh respectively in Allowance Optional Claiming races at Del Mar. He has placed in two of his last three starts overall and hopes to bounce back after a disappointing effort last time out from post 11 with Drayden Van Dyke in the irons.
2016 Del Mar Handicap Entries & Odds
Race 8 on Del Mar's Saturday card with a Post Time of 8:43 PM.
|1||Belisarius (IRE)||20-1||Junior Alvarado||Peter Miller|
|2||Quick Casablanca (CHI)||8-1||Tyler Baze||Ronald McAnally|
|3||Wanstead Gardens||12-1||Santiago Gonzalez||Neil French|
|4||Metaboss||4-1||Rafael Bejarano||Philip D'Amato|
|5||Power Foot||20-1||Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||Neil Drysdale|
|6||Express Himself (IRE)||8-1||Victor Espinoza||John Sadler|
|7||Flamboyant (FR)||7-2||Flavien Prat||Patrick Gallagher|
|8||Ashleyluvssugar||3-1||Gary Stevens||Peter Eurton|
|9||Finnegans Wake||8-1||Kent Desormeaux||Peter Miller|
|10||El Huerfano||20-1||Brice Blanc||Peter Miller|
|11||Patentar (FR)||20-1||Drayden Van Dyke||Simon Callaghan|
|12||Texas Ryano||20-1||Joseph Talamo||Carla Gaines|