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Defending champion Twilight Gleaming will carry high weight among the older female turf sprinters who will match up Friday at Del Mar in the annual renewal of the Daisycutter Handicap, an overnight test carrying a $100,000 purse at five furlongs on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
The Daisycutter is Race 7 on an eight-race program. First post Friday will be 4 p.m.
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Eleven fillies and mares have entered the dash, but only nine can run at any one time on the turf course due to safety concerns.
Possible favorite in the grass gas could be Stonestreet Stables’ Twilight Gleaming, a now 4-year-old daughter of the British sire National Defense. The quick lassie sped to a half-length victory in this same race last year, outrunning five rivals under top rider Juan Hernandez. That rider has another commitment in this year’s edition of the turfer, so Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith steps in to take over the controls.
Wide West, a 3-year-old filly by European super sire Frankel, enters the dash off a pair of turf sprint victories at Gulfstream Park in Florida this spring. She’s been training steadily for veteran conditioner Thomas Proctor and draws California’s top rider. She definitely bears watching.
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