OffTrackBetting.com - The G2 Del Mar Mile Handicap takes place this Sunday August 20 at Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California. A purse of $200,000 will be up for grabs for horses three years old and upward willing to race one mile on Del Mar's turf track.
A terrific field of six have been confirmed for the Del Mar Mile - race 8 on Del Mar's Sunday card. Post time is 5:30. Here is a look into the past performances of all six combatants for this competitive G2 stakes.
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2017 Del Mar Mile Entries at Del Mar Race Track
Bal a Bali
Brazilian Triple Crown winner and 2014 Brazilian Horse of the Year, Richard Mandella trainee has 15 wins, a second and four third place finishes in 25 career starts. He won his last eight races at home (6 group stakes) before debuting in North America with a nice win in the G3 American Stakes at Santa Anita in May, 2015. He has been up and down the last year - a good win last time out in the G1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita June 3 followed a fifth in the G1 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs May 6 and another win in the G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita March 11. Before that was an eighth in the 2016 G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita, a fourth in the G2 Charles Whittingham Memorial Stakes and three straight third place finishes also in 2016 including the G3 San Francisco Mile at Golden Gate, the G3 Frank E Kilroe Mile and in the G2 San Gabriel Stakes to start 2016. Bal a Bali has been a tad tough to figure out but has won two of his last three starts (both graded stakes) and has won eight of 13 turf mile starts. He shoots for his third win in four starts this year and for his second straight with Mike Smith guiding him from post 3.
Defending champion in this race also won the G2 Del Mar Derby in August, 2014 for trainer Phil D'Amato, had a second in the 2015 G1 Shoemaker and has been very competitive the last year - five wins, a second and two third place finishes in nine starts over that span. He enters this week off a fourth in the competitive G1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita May 27, an OK third in the G2 Oaklawn Handicap April 15, a second after fading in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap March 11 (al three on dirt) and a nice two race win streak - the G2 San Pasqual Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths January 1, and by an impressive 7 3/4 lengths in the G3 Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar November 27 - both in gate-to-wire fashion. Before that was and OK third in the Breeders' Cup Mile and wins in the 2016 G2 Del Mar Mile, the G2 Eddie Read Stakes and in the 2016 G1 Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita. Midnight Storm now has 10 wins, four seconds and two third place finishes in 24 career starts and will be out to snap a three-race losing streak from gate 4. Rafael Bejarano rides.
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Defending runner-up fin this race has 17 career starts for trainer Dan Hendricks with five wins, five seconds and four third place finishes. He was last seen July 4 finishing an OK second in the G3 American Stakes at Santa Anita after a third as favorite in the G2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar November 26 and three straight runner-up finishes - the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint - a nose behind Obviously, the G2 City of Hope Mile October 8 and the G2 Del Mar Mile August 21. Before that was a sixth in the 2016 G1 Frank E. Kilroe Mile March 12 at Santa Anita, a third in the G2 Arcadia Stakes here February 13 of 2016, a nice win in the 2015 G2 Mathis Brothers Mile, another third as favorite in the G1 Hollywood Derby November 28, 2015 and two good wins in the fall of 2015- the G2 Twilight Derby and in gate-to-wire fashion in the G2 Del Mar Derby. Om is one of two horses to ever beat American Pharoah and has placed in five straight races ahead of this weekend - pretty good form. He shoots for his first win in 20 months in his second start of 2017 from gate 2 with Gary Stevens guiding him.
Mark Glatt trained gelding has four wins and four third-place finishes. He arrives on a two-race win streak - the minor Wickerr Stakes on this track July 23 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita July 2. Before that were two straight thirds - the G3 Daytona Stakes at Santa Anita May 27 and an Allowance Optional Claiming at Santa Anita May 6. He failed to place in three of his previous five starts (all graded stakes) but did have thirds in the G2 Twilight Derby and the G2 Los Alamitos Derby. Blackjackcat has been trending upward ahead of this weekend and will be after a first graded stakes score from post 5 Sunday. Kent Desormeaux will be in the reins.
Won his first four career starts including a pair of graded stakes scores at Aqueduct - the G2 Jerome Stakes and the G3 Gotham Stakes to start 2014 but has been up and down since. He also won the G2 Kelso Handicap in 2014. He had seven starts in 2015 with just a second and a third-place finish to show for it - a third in the minor Forbidden Apple at Belmont Park followed and an OK second in the G3 Poker Stakes. He had just six starts in 2016 and was OK - a second in the G2 Seabiscuit Handicap here November 26 followed a seventh in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile, a nice win in course record time in the G2 City of Hope Mile October 8, a second in the G2 Pat O'Brien Stakes at Del Mar August 27, a second in the G2 Red Bank Stakes at Monmouth Park in June and an Allowance score at Keeneland April 21. He was off for eight months before a second as favorite behind Blackjackcat last time out in the minor Wickerr Stakes on this track July 23. Vyjack has been competitive at times - eight wins, six seconds and three third place finishes in 30 career starts and will be looking to snap a three-race losing streak Sunday. Flavien Prat will be in the saddle from the rail.
Intriguing Argentinian bred Ignacio Correas trained colt has placed in all eight career starts - five wins and three second-place finishes. He makes his North American debut Sunday as his country's top two-year old and dual Argentine Champion - a good win in the Group 1 Joaquin S. de Anchorena December 17 followed a second in the Group 2 Gran Premio Hipodromo De Palermo in November, another second in the Group 1 Pola de Potrillos in September and a nice win in the Group 2 Miguel Cane last August. Le Ken was mighty impressive at home, he fired a bullet :47 half from the gate August 12 and hopes it translate in his North American bow. Drayden Van Dyke has been tabbed to ride from the outside gate 8.
2017 Del Mar Mile Odds & Entries
Race 8 on Del Mar's Sunday card with a Post Time of 8:30 PM.
|1||Vyjack||7-2||Flavien Prat||Philip D'Amato|
|2||Om||7-2||Gary Stevens||Dan Hendricks|
|3||Bal a Bali (BRZ)||5-2||Mike Smith||Richard Mandella|
|4||Midnight Storm||2-1||Rafael Bejarano||Philip D'Amato|
|5||Blackjackcat||6-1||Kent Desormeaux||Mark Glatt|
|6||Le Ken (ARG)||15-1||Drayden Van Dyke||Ignacio Correas|