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Rancho Bernardo Preview: Scotish Star Steps Up
Scotish Star (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Rancho Bernardo Preview: Scotish Star Steps Up

DEL MAR, CA – Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella’s Argentinian Group 1 winner Scotish Star steps up to the American stakes ranks for the first time in Friday’s $100,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap (G3) at Del Mar.

The Rancho Bernardo is a 6 1/2-furlong dirt sprint open to fillies and mares 3 and up. This year’s edition is the sixth event on an 8-race card and has a local post time of 6:36 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Rancho Bernardo:

1. Scotish Star 9/5 – She began her career winning both starts in her native country last year, first a 5-furlong straight sprint then the 1-mile Polla de Potrancas (G1), and each by 7 lengths. Off from last October to July, she made her stateside debut for Mandella in a local 6-furlong optional claiming sprint that she lost by a neck as the 7/5 favorite. The meet’s leading rider Flavien Prat returns.

2. Candura 10/1 – She’s the longer shot of the two entries for John Sadler, whose 5 wins in this race are second-most all time among trainers. She returned from an 18-month layoff to win a pair of 6-furlong optional claiming dirt sprints at Oaklawn Park this past April, then finished last of nine in the Osunitas Stakes last time out, a local turf mile route. Sadler wins 19% with similar surface swaps.

3. Stellar Sound 2/1 – She won 2 of 3 starts after transferring to the Michael McCarthy barn last year, first a 1-mile optional claiming route at Santa Anita Park and then a local optional claiming dash when she caught Scotish Star in the shadow of the wire. Her lone loss was a third in the 1 1/16-mile Bayakoa Stakes (G3) at Los Alamitos, where she suffered a horrendous trip as the 6/5 favorite.

4. Edgeway 8/5 – She returned from a lengthy layoff to easily defeat optional claimers in a 6-furlong Santa Anita Park dash in February, then fought gamely to win April’s 6-furlong Carousel Stakes at Oaklawn Park. She pressed champion sprinter Gamine in the early going of July’s 6 1/2-furlong Great Lady M. Stakes (G2) last time out before finishing fourth, 1 1/4 lengths behind the runner-up.

5. Proud Emma 8/1 – The meet’s leading trainer Peter Miller brings her back for her first start since February’s Santa Monica Stakes (G2), the second of 2 graded stakes in which she finished a well-beaten sixth while running without race-day Lasix. While the same drug-free rule applies here, Miller hits at 18% with runners returning from similar breaks and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith rides.

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