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Thoroughbred racing returns to historic Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Wednesday when the 79th season begins with a ten-race program highlighted by the seaside track's traditional opening-day feature, the $100,000-added Oceanside Stakes for three-year-olds at one mile over the infield Jimmy Durante grass course.
Post time for the first race is 2 p.m. Presented on a five-day-a-week schedule, Wednesday through Sunday, the 36-day meeting will feature a 41-race stakes schedule worth $7.3 million topped by the $1 million Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 18. The season will conclude Labor Day Monday, September 3.
The Oceanside Stakes attracted a full field of 14 sophomores, with two on an also-eligible list, and shapes up as a wide-open betting contest with several entrants having performed well in stakes competition.
Race 8 on Del Mar's Wednesday card with a Post Time of 8:30 PM
|1||Arawak||6-1||Gary Stevens||Doug O'Neill|
|2||Texas Wedge||9-2||Flavien Prat||Peter Miller|
|3||Pepe Tono||20-1||Alonso Quinonez||Victor Garcia|
|4||Artie B Good||20-1||Stewart Elliott||William Morey|
|5||Desert Stone (IRE)||4-1||Corey Nakatani||Richard Baltas|
|6||Shane Zain||20-1||Mario Gutierrez||Doug O'Neill|
|7||Restrainedvengence||20-1||Evin Roman||Val Brinkerhoff|
|8||Faversham||15-1||Tiago Pereira||Art Sherman|
|9||Move Over (GB)||6-1||Tyler Baze||John Sadler|
|10||Calexman||6-1||Geovanni Franco||Vladimir Cerin|
|11||Heartfullofstars||12-1||Santiago Gonzalez||Philip D'Amato|
|12||Soltero||20-1||Joseph Talamo||Philip D'Amato|
|13||Afleet Ascent||8-1||Kent Desormeaux||Jerry Hollendorfer|
|14||Respect the Hustle||30-1||Tyler Conner||Bill McLean|
|15||More Honor||20-1||Tiago Pereira||Mark Glatt|
|16||Risky Proposition||20-1||Joseph Talamo||Mark Glatt|
Irish-bred Desert Stone, coming in from Santa Anita on a two-race winning streak, has been designated the 4-1 morning line favorite for Wednesday.
Trained by Richard Baltas for Zayat Stables LLC, Desert Stone broke his maiden on his sixth try going 1 1/8 miles in May and scored while cutting back to a mile in June. Corey Nakatani has the mount.
Faversham comes into the traditional Opening Day featured Oceanside Stakes after breaking his maiden in his seventh career start on June 21 at Santa Anita. The victory came at the Oceanside distance of one mile on the grass.
Not bad by most standards. But Faversham also carries the burden of expectations inherent as a full brother (Lucky Pulpit-Love the Chase) of California Chrome.
"A lot of weight on him," said trainer Art Sherman, not in reference to the 118 Faversham will carry in the Oceanside.
"He was a late foal and he's maturing and getting a little weight on him and getting a lot better. I've noticed that he's training a lot stronger and I think the second half of the year he's going to be a stronger horse."
Faversham, bred by Chrome connections Perry Martin and Steve Coburn and owned by Martin, made his racing debut in January and has raced once a month since then. Prior to the win at Santa Anita, his best results had been runner-up efforts in his debut and in a maiden race in March, the latter via disqualification.
"His last race at Santa Anita was really good and he really brought it down the lane," Sherman said. "He comes from behind. He doesn't have the speed to lay up close like his brother and with 14 head in the race, he's going to have to get lucky to get through the traffic.
"But he's training very well and I think he'll do well if he has a clean trip."
Texas Wedge, a closing second down the hill at Santa Anita in his season debut, could move forward second off the bench for Peter Miller. The Colonel John colt beat allowance foes on the Del Mar turf last November, albeit at five furlongs.
One of the more experienced members of the field, Arawak, has placed four times in stakes company, most recently finishing third to River Boyce in the $98,000 Rainbow at Santa Anita.
The speedy Calexman, a graduate on the Del Mar turf last fall, enters off a narrow allowance win at Santa Anita over More Honor going short, while the stakes-placed Move Over was also a last-out allowance victor going about 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita.
The Oceanside, noted for being split into divisions from 1989 to 2008, will be a single entity for the fifth year in a row and the eighth time in the last 10 years. The expansion of the turf course to accommodate 14 horses has been a major factor in that decision the last few years.
The Oceanside Stakes is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually in July at Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, California. Raced on turf since 1975, it is restricted to three-year-old non-winners of a $50,000 sweepstakes. The race is contested at a distance of one mile. First run in 1937 as the Oceanside Handicap, through 1939 and again in 1975-76 it was open to horses age three and up. In 1950, the race was restricted to fillies and mares.
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