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DEL MAR, CA – A field of eight entered Sunday’s 71st running of the $300,000 TVG Del Mar Debutante (G1), which annually determines the 2-year-old filly champion of the meeting.
And 10 were entered in the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, which could identify a candidate or two for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here on November 5.
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Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert, who won the last 2 runnings of the Debutante with Bast (2019) and Princess Noor (2020) and has 9 Debutante wins dating back to 1995, entered two for the race.
Grace Adler, a daughter of Curlin who was a $700,000 auction purchase for Willow Grace Farm and Michael Petersen, won her racing debut here on July 31.
Eda, a daughter of Munnings who was a $550,000 purchase by the Baoma Corporations at the Ocala sale in March, was a winner via disqualification in her racing debut in June at Santa Anita and came up a head short in a duel with Elm Drive in the Debutante prep Sorrento Stakes (G2) on August 6.
Little Red Feather Racing’s Elm Drive hung tough to come out on top by a head that day with a game Eda right alongside her.
Each of those fillies has run twice, Elm Drive having scored a handy eight-length victory at Los Alamitos in her debut on June 26 and Eda finishing second – but being elevated to first – in her racing bow at Santa Anita on June 26.
Elm Drive Extra Game In Taking Sorrento
Further, both fillies came out of the Ocala Breeders’ Sale of 2-year-olds in training this past March in Florida. Elm Drive, who is by the Tapit sire Mohaymen, fetched $165,000. Eda, a daughter of Munnings, brought $550,000.
Del Mar’s morning line maker, Jon White, has made Elm Drive a slight 5/2 favorite over 3/1 Eda. Juan Hernandez again will ride Elm Drive for trainer Phil D’Amato.
Baffert called an audible with Eda and went to his east coast guy – Hall of Fame rider John Velazquez — for Sunday. The previous Sunday, Baffert brought Velazquez west to handle Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit in his comeback race and saw him ride the colt to a 1 1/4-length victory in the Shared Belief Stakes.
Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Dance to the Music is yet another graduate of the OBS, but this one was the Spring Sale of 2-year-olds in training in April, where she was bid in for $575,000. She’s by the Distorted Humor stallion Maclean’s Music. Her lone start saw her score smartly by almost 5 lengths in a straight maiden race at 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on July 24
Here’s the full field for the Debutante with riders and morning line odds:
The Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf appears to be a wide-open betting affair with five of the 11 runners within a point or two of each other on the wagering line.
The slight morning line favorite is Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT or Nentwig’s Helens Well at 7/2. Just behind her at 4/1 is Gary Barber homebred Into Touring.
Helens Well is conditioned by Phil D’Amato, one of three horses he has in the race. The others are Little Red Feather’s Sea Breezing and Agave Racing Stable or Schera’s Sax.
Trainer John Sadler supplemented two for the Juvenile Fillies Turf, import Dolly May and California-bred Dendera.
Dolly May won her only start in Ireland and was purchased about 6 weeks ago by Hronis Racing. Dendera broke her maiden here last month.
“Dolly May has been training very well,” Sadler said. “Dendera’s win, even though it was against Cal-breds, was impressive. She did it pretty easily.”
Doug O’Neill also entered a pair, La Deuxieme Etoile for Reddam Racing and Miss Bellatrix for C T R Stables or Aldabbaugh.
Here’s the full field for the Juvenile Fillies Turf from the rail out with riders and morning line odds:
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