Del Mar

C Z Rocket Secures BC Dirt Mile Berth in Pat O’Brien

C Z Rocket continued his hot streak and stamped his ticket to the GI Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile with a victory in the Pat O'Brien S. Hammered down to even-money for this return to stakes company, the bay stalked from a two-wide third as Law Abidin Citizen set a :23.10 opening quarter. Ranging up in tandem with Flagstaff to tackle the pacesetter entering the far turn, C Z Rocket wore down his rivals in the final sixteenth, edging past Flagstaff to score. Claimed by these connections for $40,000 from Frank...

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Ghostzapper Colt Easily Makes Amends at Del Mar

6th-Del Mar, $55,500, Msw, 8-29, 2yo, 6f, 1:11.10, ft. VITTORIO (c, 2, Ghostzapper--Roberta Turner, by Smart Strike) was away slowly from a wide stall in his Aug. 1 debut, then traveled very awkwardly, covered ground on the turn and could do no better than fifth to the impressive odds-on favorite Freedom Fighter (Violence). But the betting public did not lose faith in the colt and made him the 11-10 favorite to make the requisite improvement at second asking. Much more smoothly away from gate six with Mike Smith back at...

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Saturday’s Racing Insights for Aug. 29

SPOTLIGHT ON RUNHAPPY BABY IN LOADED SARATOGA MAIDEN 6th-SAR, $72K, Msw, 2yo, 6f, 3:57 p.m. ET HAPPYMAC (Runhappy), an $800,000 RNA at the OBS June Sale (:20 3/5), looks like the one to beat in this extremely deep baby race at the Spa. The half-brother to runaway GII Amsterdam S. winner and GI Breeders' Cup Sprint runner-up Shancelot (Shanghai Bobby) fired a five-furlong bullet from the gate in :59 2/5 (1/12) at Saratoga Aug. 17. Happymac, drawn widest of all in post 10 for the Heiligbrodts and Hall of Famer...

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Charlatan Nears Return to Training

TDN Rising Star Charlatan (Speightstown), a Triple Crown candidate earlier in the season before being sidelined by injury, is expected to return to training soon, according to Starlight Racing's Jack Wolf, who campaigns the sophomore in partnership with SF Racing, Madaket Stables and Stonestreet Stables. After detecting some filling to the front ankle following a June 1 workout [five furlongs in 1:00.80] at Santa Anita, Bob Baffert confirmed that the colt would get 45 days off after an MRI revealed chips which required minor surgery. "He's doing really well," said...

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BC Bid on the Line in O’Brien

Lane's End Racing and Hronis Racing's Flagstaff (Speightstown) gets the morning line nod in Del Mar's GII Pat O'Brien S., a Saturday "Win and You're In" qualifier for the furlong-longer GI Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile. The lightly raced 6-year-old's 2020 campaign has included a victory in the GII San Carlos S. over this trip in March and a narrow second to Whitmore (Pleasantly Perfect) in the GIII Count Fleet Sprint H. in April. He's been off since finishing fourth in the GII Triple Bend S. in June, but has...

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Friday’s Racing Insights: Babies Take to the Turf at Del Mar

7th-DMR, $55K, Msw, 2yo, f, 5 1/2fT, post time: 8:09 p.m ET PIZZAZZ (War Front) is the latest to make the races from A Little Bit Sassy (More Than Ready), who carried the silks of this filly's breeder Ramona Bass to a victory over future GISW Istanford (Istan) in the 2014 Edgewood S. and a pair of graded placings, including that year's GII Lake George S. Second dam Miss A. Bomb (Lemon Drop Kid) was a debut winner at Turfway before notching a pair of black-type events on synthetic tracks...

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Needless to Say Another Debut Winner for Not This Time

8th-Del Mar, $57,500, (S), Msw, 8-23, 2yo, f, 5 1/2f, 1:04.91, ft. NEEDLESS TO SAY (f, 2, Not This Time--Camille C {MSW & GSP, $400,205}, by Roman Dancer), favored at 3-2, gave her freshman sire (by Giant's Causeway) his ninth winner, his second of the day, and his second impressive debut victress of the weekend at Del Mar. The dark bay filly was away sharply and was soon at the head of affairs, setting fractions of :21.93 and :45.90. She extended her advantage down the lane without being asked and...

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Maximum Effort

Whether you love him or have mixed feelings about him, there is one thing about Maximum Security (New Year's Day) that is very hard to dispute: he is an outstanding racehorse. Prohibitively favored at 40 cents on the dollar to take Saturday's GI TVG Pacific Classic in his second start since being transferred to the barn of Bob Baffert, the bay absorbed race-long pressure but, realistically speaking, never looked like losing in securing an all-expenses-paid berth in the GI Breeders' Cup Classic in early November. When the dust had settled,...

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Epaulette Filly Upends Del Mar Oaks

Dismissed at odds of 19-1, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners' Red Lark (Ire) (Epaulette {Aus}) rallied into the stretch and stormed down the center of the track to pull the upset in the GI Del Mar Oaks. California-bred California Kook (Boisterous) came with a barnstorming run from last to round out the exacta ahead of fellow Cal-bred Warren's Showtime (Clubhouse Ride) in third. Red Lark settled slightly worse than centerfield, with cover on the back of Warren's Showtime, as favored Laura's Light (Constitution) set the pace in advance of Parkour (Carpe Diem)....

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Uncle Mo Filly Stays Unbeaten on Dirt in Torrey Pines

Harvest Moon (Uncle Mo) remained perfect in three starts going long on the dirt and gave her sire yet another new graded winner with a determined success in the GIII Torrey Pines S. on the Pacific Classic undercard. The betting favorite was beaten for speed and was content to race in the one out and one back position with cover rounding the first turn as Secret Keeper (Into Mischief) led narrowly from Provocation (Into Mischief) to her outside. Mike Smith atop the latter upped the ante through the middle stages,...

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Not This Time OBS Topper Fast As Advertised; Gets ‘Rising Star’ Nod

Zedan Racing Stables, Inc.'s Princess Noor (Not This Time), who topped the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training at $1.35 million off of a blazingly fast :20 1/5 breeze, ran to the hype and her price tag Saturday at Del Mar to be named a 'TDN Rising Star' and become her fast-starting freshman sire (by Giant's Causeway)'s seventh individual winner. The $135,000 KEESEP yearling had fired a couple of bullet breezes from the gate in her preparations for trainer Bob Baffert (including a best-of-seven 1:12.20 July...

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Honor A.P. Tightens Screws in Penultimate Derby Work

GI Runhappy Santa Anita Derby winner Honor A.P. (Honor Code), expected to be no worse than third choice on the morning line for the Sept. 5 GI Kentucky Derby, tightened the screws with a five-furlong work in 1:00.20 (see below) before the first race at Del Mar Saturday. Regular rider Mike Smith, wearing the colors of C R K Stable, was in the irons. Honor A.P. clicked off fractions of :12, :24, :36.20, and :47.60, galloping out three-quarters in 1:12.20 and seven furlongs in 1:25.40. The bay ridgling worked under...

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