OTB Race Previews
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The trip from his native Ireland last week went smoothly for Pincheck. Saturday's Grade II $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar Racetrack figures to be at least somewhat revelatory regarding the 4-year-old gelding's competition level for his indefinite stay stateside.
"His first extensive travel and it surprised me that he took it so well," said Adrien Bolger, stable foreman for Irish trainer Jessica Harrington, renowned for her success in both hunt and flat racing overseas.
"Unfortunately for us, he (Pincheck) will be staying here," Bolger continued. "So you have to take the good with the bad."
After the Seabiscuit, Pincheck will be turned over to Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella for subsequent U.S. training and racing.
Race 7 on Del Mar's Saturday card with a Post Time of 6:30 PM
|1||Caribou Club||6-1||Joseph Talamo
|2||Big Score||6-1||Geovanni Franco
|3||Ann Arbor Eddie||8-1||Mario Gutierrez
|4||Pincheck (IRE)||5-1||Mike Smith
|5||Holiday Stone||12-1||Flavien Prat
|6||Madame Stripes (ARG)||15-1||Tiago Pereira
|9||Le Ken (ARG)||20-1||Tyler Baze
|10||Ohio (BRZ)||8-1||Drayden Van Dyke
|11||Secretary At War||20-1||Ruben Fuentes
|12||He Will||8-1||Kent Desormeaux
A gelded son of the Irish stallion Invincible Spirit, Pincheck is owned by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club director Jon S. Kelly, whose major wins as an owner here were with Borrego in the 2005 Pacific Classic and Vacare in the 2008 Palomar Handicap.
Pincheck has four wins and five additional in-the-money finishes in 15 career starts and earnings of $136,827. His only victory in six starts this year came in the Group III Invesco Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown on August 16. His last eight starts have all been at the mile distance on turf courses rated either "soft," "good," or "heavy," and how he adjusts to the firmer ground of the Jimmy Durante Turf Course, and the 1 1/16 mile Seabiscuit distance, will be of keen interest to the connections.
Pincheck's last race was a Group II event at Leopardstown in which he finished third, beaten 4 ¼ lengths by I Can Fly, a starter in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile earlier this month at Churchill Downs.
The decision to bring the horse over the Atlantic was a relatively recent one.
"Actually it was made only a week before he shipped," Bolger said. "He went to a local racetrack and did a piece of work there. They were so happy with it that they decided then and there to come over with him."
Since his arrival a week ago, Pincheck has galloped over the main track and appears to have adjusted well to the new surroundings. Kelly, a Rancho Santa Fe resident, has been out to see the morning exercise and Jessica Harrington's daughter, Kate, arrived midweek and will saddle Pincheck for the race.
The field from the rail: Caribou Club (Joe Talamo, 6-1), Big Score (Geovanni Franco, 6-1), Ann Arbor Eddie (Mario Gutierrez, 8-1), Pincheck (Mike Smith, 5-1), Holiday Stone (Flavien Prat, 12-1), Madame Stripes (Tiago Pereira, 15-1), Synchrony (Joe Bravo, 9-2), Kenjisstorm (Rafael Bejarano, 8-1), Le Ken (Tyler Baze, 20-1), Ohio (Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1), Secretary At War (Ruben Fuentes, 20-1) and He Will (Kent Desormeaux, 8-1).
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