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George Krikorian's homebred Mucho Unusual, who has been facing high-line graded stakes company for the past year, drops into a seemingly ideal spot against state-bred runners in Saturday's $125,000 Solana Beach Stakes at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Naturally, she figures to be a solid favorite in the filly-mare test at a mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Seven California-breds in all have entered the 27th edition of the Solana Beach, which goes as the 9th of 11 races on the weekend card.
Race 9 at Del Mar on Saturday, August 15 - Post 9:12 PM
|3||Big Sweep||5-1||Abel Cedillo
|4||Mucho Unusual||8-5||Flavien Prat
|5||Pulpit Rider||6-1||Juan Hernandez
|6||Kitty Boom Boom||12-1||Mike Smith
Mucho Unusual is by the stallion Mucho Macho Man out of an Unusual Heat mare named Not Unusual, thus coming by her name readily enough. She's run 14 times all told with 10 of those being stakes races and she's registered four wins, three seconds and three thirds for earnings of $507,715.
She won in open company last year at Del Mar at this same distance when she captured the Grade II San Clemente Stakes. Subsequently, she ran in seven Grade I or Grade II stakes with a second and three thirds for her efforts.
Flavien Prat will handle the 4-year-old filly Saturday for trainer Tim Yakteen.
Mucho Unusual's chief threat may be her stablemate Cordiality, also trained by Yakteen. The 7-year-old mare by Papa Clem is already a winner at the meet, having captured the Osunitas Stakes on July 12, a race also run at eight furlongs on the lawn.
Cordiality has won 11 times in 31 starts and shows a bankroll that reads $557,635. She won the Solana Beach in 2018 when she was trained by Mark Glatt.
Big Sweep, also bred by Krikorian, is a 3-year-old by Mr. Big who has only raced four times in her brief career, though she's come away a winner in three of them. She tallied in the Fleet Treat Stakes for Cal-breds at seven furlongs on the main track on July 24. The Solana Beach will be her first outing on grass.
Sedamar, a Richard's Kid filly bred by her owner and trained by Shelbe Ruis, has won four of 14 starts and $246,904. Twelve of her 14 outings - and virtually all of her wins and earnings - have come on the greensward.
First post for the Saturday card is 2 p.m.
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Trainer Tim Yakteen will saddle the top two choices on John Lies' morning line for Saturday's featured $125,000 Solana Beach Stakes.
But while Yakteen has doubled down on his chances, he's not all in on the thought that he has the competition over a barrel in the one-mile turf event for California-bred older fillies and mares.
"It's a horserace, so you never know what can happen," Yakteen said this morning. "But they're doing great and we're hoping to see a big effort out of them both."
Mucho Unusual, a 4-year-old daughter of Mucho Macho Man out of the Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual, owned and bred by George Krikorian, is the 8-5 favorite. Cordiality, a 7-year-old daughter of Papa Clem out of the Unusual Heat mare Warmth, owned by Donnie Crevier, is the 3-1 second choice.
"They have different running styles, so they shouldn't work against each other," Yakteen said.
Cordiality comes in off wire-to-wire victory in the Osunitas Stakes on July 12. It was the 11th in 31 career starts and the $52,800 winner's share of the purse boosted her career earnings to $557,635.
Cordiality won the 2018 running of the Solana Beach, but has changed ownership via the claim route twice since then.
Mucho Unusual also has a mile win over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. It came in the Grade II San Clemente in July of 2019, rallying from last in a field of 10. She is winless, but has hit the board four times, in seven starts since, all of them at graded stakes levels.
"Mucho Unusual has a class edge," Yakteen said. "From a selfish standpoint I hate to run them against each other, but that's the way it is. Fingers crossed they both have good trips and it all works out."
The field from the rail: Sedamar (Brice Blance, 5-1); Cordiality (Umberto Rispoli); Big Sweep (Abel Cedillo, 5-1); Mucho Unusual (Flavien Prat); Pulpit Rider (Juan Hernandez, 6-1); Smiling Shirlee (Victor Espinoza, 12-1), and Kitty Boom Boom (Mike Smith, 12-1).
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