The stakes barn was a bustling place Thursday morning as the result of an influx of horses from New York which arrived Tuesday and, having settled in, are all being prepared for the Grade I events on the upcoming closing weekend.
Chad Brown, the No. 1 trainer in North America by earnings, with nearly $22.6 million in purses, sent six horses --- three for Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby and three for Sunday’s Grade I $300,000 Matriarch and an equal number of handlers.
Traveling on the same plane were Shug McGaughey-trained Revved Up for the Derby and James Toner’s Time and Motion for the Matriarch.
Brown’s six are comprised of Hollywood Derby entrants Beach Patrol, Camelot Kitten and Annals of Time, plus Mexican Gold, Roca Rojo and Zindaya for the Matriarch.
Combined, Brown’s group for the Hollywood Derby, at 1 1/8 miles on the turf for 3-year-olds, has five graded stakes victories in 2016. Beach Patrol won the Grade I Secretariat, on the Arlington Million Day card, and was in the midst of a 1-2-3 finish for Brown charges, Camelot Kitten winning and Annals of Time third, in the Grade III Hill Prince on October 8 at Belmont Park in their last outings.
The Matriarch trio is led by Zindaya, who won the Grade II Goldikova Stakes on November 6 at Santa Anita, shipped back to New York to train, and has returned for the Matriarch, a one-mile race for fillies and mares three-years-old and up.
“Everything went well, all the horses shipped in nicely,” said Cherie DeVaux, Brown’s assistant who will be in charge on site while Brown remains in New York. “They’ve all been in good form all year and have trained well before coming out here. Hopefully that maintains into the races.
“Beach Patrol and Camelot Kitten are obviously the more accomplished of the three, but Annals of Time has been developing into a really nice horse. They all deserve to be respected. It’s the same in the Matriarch, three really nice fillies that have been running well and training very well.”
Three New York-based riders that rank in the Top Five for North American purse earnings are traveling to pilot Brown’s horses. Javier Castellano, the No. 1 jockey in North America for purse earnings with $26.1 million, will ride Annals of Time and Zindaya. Irad Ortiz, Jr., (No. 2, $22.3 million) will be on Camelot Kitten and Mexican Gold. Florent Geroux (No. 5, $16.8 million) has Beach Patrol and Roca Rojo.
John Velazquez (No. 4, $18.1 million) is also out from New York to ride Isotherm for trainer George Weaver in the Derby and Time and Motion in the Matriarch for James Toner.
The Hollywood Derby field from the rail: Beach Patrol (Florent Geroux, 9-2), Camelot Kitten (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 7-2), Frank Conversation (Mario Gutierrez, 8-1), Diplodocus (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1), Free Rose (Norberto Arroyo, Jr., 5-1), Isotherm (John Velazquez, 12-1), Blackjackcat (Mike Smith, 8-1), Hayabusa One (Victor Espinoza, 6-1), Revved Up (Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1), Defiantly (Gary Stevens, 30-1), Annals of Time (Javier Castellano, 6-1) and Path of David (Joe Talamo, 30-1).
TWELVE ENTERED FOR SUNDAY’S GRADE I MATRIARCH
A field of 12 was entered Thursday for the $300,000 Grade I Matriarch on Sunday, closing day of the meeting.
Grade I stakes winners Miss Temple City and Time and Motion top the list for the one-mile turf event for fillies and mares which will be run for the third time at the Bing Crosby meeting after 33 editions at Hollywood Park.
Decked Out, a 3-year-old filly trained by Keith Desormeaux, was supplemented to the race at a cost of $3,000.
The post position draw was scheduled for later Thursday. The entrants, in alphabetical order are: Decked Out (Victor Espinoza), Kitcat (Tiago Pereira), Mexican Gold (Irad Ortiz, Jr.), Miss Temple City (Edgar Prado), Nancy From Nairobi (Tyler Baze), Prize Exhibit (Mike Smith), Roca Rojo (Florent Geroux), Sobradora Inc (Martin Garcia), Stays In Vegas (Drayden Van Dyke), Time and Motion (John Velazquez), Tiz a Kiss (Kent Desormeaux) and Zindaya (Javier Castellano).
WITH PRAT OUT, SCRAMBLE’S ON FOR JOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP
With leading rider Flavien Prat out for the final four days of the meeting due to an injury in a spill Sunday, the meet riding title would appear to be up for grabs.
Prat was hospitalized overnight Sunday as a precautionary measure when blood appeared in his urine after he was thrown to the ground after his mount stumbled leaving the gate in the third race. Upon advice of his doctor, Prat will not ride competitively again until the opening of the Santa Anita meeting on December 26.
Prat had 11 wins in the first 10 days of the meeting and is ahead by two over Norberto Arroyo, Jr., and Drayden Van Dyke. Arroyo had four wins in the third week of the meeting, completed Sunday, and Van Dyke 5.
Victor Espinoza (8 wins), Santiago Gonzalez (7), Tyler Baze (6), Mike Smith (6) and the trio of Joe Talamo, Kent Desormeaux and Martin Pedroza, all with five, could win or have major impact upon the title with strong closing-week finishes.
A championship would be a first at Del Mar for all except Espinoza and Desormeaux.
MAINARDI, SERLING GUEST ON WEEKEND HANDICAPPING SEMINARS
Joe Mainardi of Ponypicker.com and New York Racing Association TV analyst Andy Serling will be the guests for the weekend handicapping seminars.
Mainardi will provide selections for the Saturday program while Serling will be the guest of Scott Shapiro on Sunday. The programs are scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. both days at the Seaside Terrace near the top of the stretch.
CLOSERS – Jockeys Brice Blanc, Mario Gutierrez and Chantal Sutherland are all approaching 1,000 career wins. Blanc has 992, Gutierrez and Sutherland 991 each. Gutierrez and Sutherland each have two mounts on Thursday’s card.`
Source: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club