Three Stars of the Week
– 1st Star: Points Offthebench (CA) – It’s not often you see a horse go from an Allowance race to a Grade 1 Stakes victory, but Points Offthebench did just that when taking the Bing Crosby Stakes Sunday afternoon. What could be even more impressive is the fact he beat Goldencents, who was cutting back in distance and was said to be training perfectly leading up to this race. The win earned him a spot in this year’s Breeders Cup Turf Sprint, although he’s never actually ran on the turf. Perhaps he’ll point for a race now that could also spring-board him into the Breeders Cup Sprint on the dirt. Either way, the options are wide open for this rapidly improving California bred.
– 2nd Star: Kettle Corn (KY) – His win was not a popular one, but it was very impressive. Kettle Corn faced off against arguably the most popular horse in American, Paynter, and was able to defeat him by a half-length while almost setting Del Mar track record in the San Diego Handicap. The win was long over due for Kettle Corn, as he had been running very well as of late. Game On Dude still looms large in this division out in California, but Kettle Corn could take another shot at him in the Pacific Classic on August 25th if his connections desire to do so. Judging by his recent form and Game On Dude’s somewhat struggles at Del Mar, it might be the perfect time to give it a shot.
– 3rd Star: Richard’s Kid (MD) – It had been ten races and almost a year since Richard’s Kid had won, but on Friday night he won the Cougar II Handicap for the second year in a row. There is no doubt he had been knocking heads with the very best in the division, but when you go that long without a win you know it has to be a relief for all of his connections. What to do next with this horse could be challenging…will they take another shot at the Pacific Classic, or will they look for an easier spot to give him a better chance at winning. No matter what, the 8-year-old horse still has plenty left in the tank.
Flop of the Week
– Comma to the Top (FL) – This is probably one of the more honest horses you’ll ever see, but I guess he deserves a “free pass” after a solid string of races. The Bing Crosby just wasn’t his race as he pressed an early pace and faded badly to fifth. He’s probably earned a little time off, but at his best we know he can compete with anyone on the California circuit.
|Rank||Trainer Name||Sts||1st||2nd||3rd||Total $||Win%||Top3||Top3%|
|1||John W. Sadler||48||10||6||7||$734,144||21%||23||48%|
|4||Mike R. Mitchell||19||4||4||3||$176,000||21%||11||58%|
|6||Thomas F. Proctor||12||3||2||2||$230,790||25%||7||58%|
|6||Richard E. Mandella||9||3||0||1||$158,080||33%||4||44%|
|11||Doug F. O’Neill||41||2||6||5||$248,740||5%||13||32%|
|11||Victor L. Garcia||7||2||2||0||$109,032||29%||4||57%|
|11||Dan L. Hendricks||9||2||0||2||$103,906||22%||4||44%|
|11||Howard L. Zucker||3||2||0||0||$76,620||67%||2||67%|
|Rank||Jockey Name||Sts||1st||2nd||3rd||Total $||Win%||Top3||Top3%|
|2||Julien R. Leparoux||43||11||5||6||$618,458||26%||22||51%|
|4||Gary L. Stevens||19||8||3||0||$481,554||42%||11||58%|
|4||Edwin A. Maldonado||63||8||4||5||$399,780||13%||17||27%|
|10||Corey S. Nakatani||32||3||4||6||$299,440||9%||13||41%|
|11||Martin A. Pedroza||37||2||1||8||$120,202||5%||11||30%|
|14||Mike E. Smith||15||1||2||1||$254,808||7%||4||27%|
Preview to Next Week
– Wednesday – The Graduation Stakes – Two Year old California Breds – Five and One Half Furlongs – Purse: $100,000
– Friday – The Real Good Deal Stakes – Three Year Old California Breds – Seven Furlongs – Purse: $200,000
– Saturday – The Clement L Hirsch Stakes (Grade 1) – Fillies and Mares 3-year-old and upward – 1 1/16 Miles – Purse: $300,000
– Sunday – The Best Pal Stakes (Grade 2) – Two Year Olds – 6 1/2 Furlongs – Purse: $150,000