Connie Swingle © Benoit Photo
The 37th edition of the Fleet Treat Stakes will top the bill Thursday as Del Mar swings back into action after a smashing opening weekend of racing. The seven-panel test for 3-year-old California-bred or sired fillies carries a purse of $175,000 and has drawn a field of eight, headed by the gray miss Connie Swingle.
The Fleet Treat is part of the Golden State Stakes Series that consists of 36 races over the year at racetracks up and down the state worth a total of $4.475 million. Eight of those races are run at the Del Mar summer meet and this is the first of the bunch.
Connie Swingle, who’ll be handled by her regular rider of late, Kyle Frey, has raced six times, winning four of them and running second in the other two. She’s owned and was bred by Nick Alexander, who stands her sire, the fast gray horse Grazen, who is one of the state’s top stallions.
Among her victories for trainer Phil D’Amato are a pair at Del Mar last year, where she registered her initial win, then took down honors in the Generous Portion Stakes. The speedster has been favored in every one of her starts and she’s likely to keep that record alive Thursday.
Here’s the full field for the Fleet Treat in post position order with their riders:
Nick Alexander’s Rose Dawson (Ramon Vazquez up); Mr.-Mrs. Larry Williams’ Tam’s Little Angel (Catalino Martinez); Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ Opening Buzz (Evan Roman); Connie Swingle; Baffert of Pageler’s Fun to Dream (Juan Hernandez); Cole Ranch Partners’ Ellamira (Frank Alvarado); Phil Lebherz’s Everlys Girl (Tyler Baze), and Maller, Sauder or Sauder’s Gianna’s Wild Cat (Florent Geroux).
Two of the fillies with only one start each may pose threats to Connie Swingle. Opening Buzz, a $34,000 purchase at the Northern California Yearling Sale, won at first asking at Golden Gate Fields on June 11, scoring by seven lengths in good time. She’s put in several steady works since under the tutelage of Jonathan Wong.
Fun to Dream, a gray by champion Arrogate, also clicked a first asking on My 28 at Santa Anita, scoring by six and a quarter lengths. She’s been working sharply since for trainer Bob Baffert.
First post Thursday is a 2 p.m. and the Fleet Treat is Race 7 of eight on the card