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Nine seasoned and talented older Thoroughbreds, several of whom have won major stakes during their careers, will tangle Friday in the Grade II $250,000 Seabiscuit Handicap at a mile and one-sixteenth over the infield grass course.
Co-highweighted at 122 pounds are three highly-regarded entrants – Brazilian-bred Bal a Bali, winner of 13 of 16 races including the American at Santa Anita last May; Avanzare, victorious in the Del Mar Mile last summer, and Alert Bay, seeking his fourth straight triumph and winner of the City of Hope Mile in late September at Santa Anita.
Rafael Bejarano has the call on Bal a Bali, Drayden Van Dyke rides Avanzare and Mario Gutierrez will be up on Alert Bay.
Other contenders in a strong field are East Coast invader Seek Again, 120 and Jose Lezcano, and Midnight Storm, 118 and Victor Espinoza. Seek Again, from the barn of Bill Mott, won the 2013 Hollywood Derby and has placed in several important stakes, while the swift Midnight Storm won the 2014 Del Mar Derby.
Completing the line-up are Macro Access, 115, Tyler Baze; Toowindytohaulrox, 115, Tiago Pereira; Abbey Vale, 115, Santiago Gonzalez, and Big Bane Theory, 117, James Graham.
Post time Friday for the first of nine races is 12:30 p.m.
Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
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