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A minor stakes winner haltered out of a decisive $50,000 claiming win sprinting out of Santa Anita’s turf chute this past June, Doug O’Neill’s Mucho Del Oro returns to action on Sunday when he heads a competitive group of eight older horses going about 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s unique hillside turf course in the $100,000 Clockers Corner Stakes.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.
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A winner of the one mile turf Cotton Fitzsimmons Handicap at Turf Paradise four starts back in March of 2022 when trained by Vladimir Cerin, Mucho Del Oro earned a career-top 99 Beyer Speed Figure as he led gate to wire going 6 ½ furlongs on turf here on June 3, 2023, winning by 4 ¾ lengths while establishing a new track record out of the turf chute of 1:13.60.
Ridden by the now-departed Ramon Vazquez on June 3, Mucho Del Oro, in what will be his first start for O’Neill, will be reunited with Juan Hernandez, who guided the 6-year-old gelding by Mucho Macho Man to three consecutive wins in the winter of 2022-including his Fitzsimmons score at Turf Paradise and a hillside allowance win just prior to that here on Feb. 5, 2022.
Thus unbeaten in his lone hillside try, Mucho Del Oro, who is owned by Purple Rein Racing and Doug O’Neill, is 15-8-1-0 overall with earnings of $275,100.
Unbeaten in two starts down the hillside turf, trainer Eoin Harty’s Daniel’s Magic comes off a close fourth place finish at 19-1 in the Grade II Joe Hernandez Stakes on Dec. 30, which was contested at 6 ½ panels out of the turf chute.
A 6-year-old gelding by Magician, Daniel’s Magic will be ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat and has been installed as the 3-1 morning line favorite by Jon White.
Owned by S. J. S. Stables and Lindy Diamond, Daniel’s Magic, who is in search of his first stakes victory, is 21-5-4-4 overall with earnings of $270,433.
Irish-bred Hamwood Flier, a 6-year-old mare who was most recently 10th, beaten 5 ¼ lengths going one mile on turf in the Grade I Matriarch Stakes at Del Mar Dec. 3, will take on the boys in what will be her eighth North American start.
Third two starts back at one mile on grass in the Grade II Goldikova here on Nov. 5, Hamwood Flier has been first, second or third in four out of her seven Southern California starts—all at one mile on turf.
Trained by Phil D’Amato in her last six starts, she’s returned to the barn of George Papaprodromou, for whom she made her winning U.S. debut on May 29, 2022.
Although she’ll be facing males for the first time in this country on Sunday, Hamwood Flier, who is owned by Rockingham Ranch, Talla Racing, LLC, et al, defeated 15 rivals, including males, in her final Irish start at seven furlongs on turf on May 23, 2021.
With Victor Espinoza engaged, Hamwood Flier, a restricted stakes winner, is 11-3-2-2 overall with earnings of $176,390.
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