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DEL MAR, CA – Second by just a 1/2-length in the 2019 running, Harris Farms homebred Desert Law is hoping to do one better in this year’s $250,000 Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) at Del Mar.
The California-bred gelding makes his second career attempt at winning a graded stakes in this spot.
The winner of the Bing Crosby will receive an automatic position in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) this fall at Keeneland. Pre-entry and entry fees will be paid and a nominator award of $10,000 will be given to the nominating person. Also, all Breeders’ Cup starters based outside of the state of Kentucky will receive a travel allowance of $10,000 if based in North America and $40,000 if based Internationally.
The Bing Crosby is a 6-furlong dirt sprint open to horses ages 3 and up that attracted a field of 10 for the 2020 edition.
Let’s take a look at the full field:
#1 Lexitonian – He appears here after scratching at the gate in last weekend’s Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga. Trainer Jack Sisterson has since confirmed that all is well with the Speightstown colt, who won his last start (a 7-furlong optional claiming dirt sprint at Churchill Downs) and posted a career-best 98 Beyer speed figure when finishing a narrow third in last October’s Phoenix Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
#2 Anyportinastorm – He makes his Del Mar debut after winning his fifth career stakes event last time out in the Oak Tree Sprint at Pleasanton. This is a major class hike compared to what he faced while competing on the northern California and Pacific Northwest circuits, but jockey Juan Hernandez knows how to handle him – he has a 13-6-2-5 record when riding the Blaine Wright trainee.
#3 Desert Law – The 6-year-old waited until last summer to make his stakes debut, soundly defeating fellow Cal-breds in the Thor’s Echo and earning his shot in that year’s Bing Crosby. Away for 11 months, he was third in his 2020 debut, but trainer Carla Gaines wins at a 20% clip with horses making their second starts after extended layoffs.
#4 McKinzie – He was expected to vie for favoritism here, based on his 4 Grade 1 victories and $3.4 million in earnings, but the Daily Racing Form’s Brad Free reported Wednesday morning that he will scratch. His new target is the August 29’s Pat O’Brien Stakes (G2), a 7-furlong local dirt sprint that is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” for the Big Ass Fans Dirt Mile (G1).
#5 P R Radio Star – His current connections claimed him for $25k out of a 6-furlong dirt sprint at Churchill Downs, and he rewarded them immediately while defeating optional claiming foes over this course and distance on July 12. That effort earned him a career-best 92 Beyer speed figure, and trainer Phil D’Amato knows how to win this race – he doubled up in 2017 and 2018 with Ransom the Moon.
#6 Fashionably Fast – The second of two California-breds in the field, he has either finished first or second in his past 10 dirt starts, including a game second to McKinzie in the 7-furlong Triple Bend Stakes (G2) last time out. He has every reason to build off that effort, considering it was his first start five months, and trainer Dean Pederson wins at a 20% clip in dirt sprints.
#7 Law Abidin Citizen – He cuts back to 6 furlongs after taking a field of optional claimers gate to wire in a 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint at Santa Anita Park in mid-June. He has yet to win a race as short as this, or at Del Mar, but his early turn of foot makes him a threat every time he runs.
#8 Wildman Jack – Despite being favored to win, he finished last of 13 in Keeneland’s Shakertown Stakes (G2) last month. He makes his dirt debut against a swarm of talented sprinters, but as a son of two-time Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) champion Goldencents, he should have no qualms about handling the surface.
#9 Collusion Illusion – He found the winner’s circle in back-to-back efforts to start his career, including the Best Pal Stakes (G2) over this same course and distance. Both 2020 appearances resulted in resounding victories by at least 3 lengths and trainer Mark Glatt showed faith by opting to run him against older horses for the first time here, rather than shipping him to Saratoga for Saturday’s H. Allen Jerkens Stakes (G1) that is restricted to 3-year-olds.
#10 Heartwood – He takes a considerable class jump after defeating an optional claiming field at Belterra Park last time out. He has 3 stakes wins on his resume, all coming at this distance, and represents a considerable pace presence on paper, especially with aggressive gate jockey Edwin Maldonado picking up the mount.
The Bing Crosby Stakes serves as race 10 on the Saturday card at Del Mar that also includes the Shared Belief Stakes (a Kentucky Derby [G1] points race) and the CTBA Stakes.
The American-based Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” events continue across the country this weekend, with Del Mar hosting Sunday’s Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (Longines Distaff) and Saratoga running the Whitney Stakes (Longines Classic) and the Personal Ensign Stakes (Longines Distaff).
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series is presented by America’s Best Racing.
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