DEL MAR, Calif. — Another packed starting gate is expected for the $100,000 Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar. A field of 11 is expected for 65th running of the one mile turf race for fillies and mares, 3-years old and up. It’s one of two stakes scheduled to run on the first Saturday of the summer meet. The G2 San Clemente will follow two races later.
Trainer Leonard Powell, who has been coming to Del Mar for over a dozen years, will bring a pair of runners over for the Osunitas, race nine of the 11-race card. Convergence Stable, et al’s Avenue De France put in a maintenance work Monday at Del Mar, covering the four furlongs in :48.80.
“She last raced in Texas and ran a good second over there,” Powell says. “I expect a very good showing from her in the Osunitas.”
Santa Anita’s winter/spring riding champion, Juan Hernandez, will ride the 5-year old daughter of Cityscape who has run her best races outside of Southern California, winning the $50,000 Luther Burbank, the $50,000 Miss America and the $75,000 Golden Poppy all at Golden Gate Fields. She comes in following a second-place finish to Park Avenue in the $200,000 Ouija Board Distaff at Lone Star Park. Powell acknowledges the Osunitas is a bit of a step up for her.
“She’s graded placed so hopefully she can fit with this kind here at Del Mar,” Powell said. He has also entered Bye Bye Bertie, who won four straight starter races earlier this year. Powell has a string of 38 horses at Del Mar and always looks forward to racing here.
“It’s the time of year when a lot of people are out of work and can enjoy their horses more,” Powell stated. “It’s a pleasure to share it with them.”
The competition in the Osunitas will be stiff. Mike Maker is bringing over Three Diamonds Farm’s Amalfi Princess, winner of an allowance race at Belmont Park in May followed by a runner-up finish to She Can’t Sing in the $100,000 Lady Canterbury at Canterbury Park.
There’s Tracy and Paula Henline’s Buyback who placed second to Avenue De France in the Golden Poppy. Trained by Blaine Wright, the daughter of Mucho Macho Man has placed first or second in her last six races.
Trainer Ben Cecil will run Reddam Racing’s Eddie’s New Dream, a runner-up to Canoodling in the G3 Wilshire at Santa Anita in May.
And there’s Next Wave Racing’s Sassyserb, a last out runner-up to Alice Marble in the $100,000 Fran’s Valentine. The Cal-bred is one of a trio of horses in the race for trainer George Papaprodromou.
The field for the Osunitas from the rail with the jockey and morning line: Quattroelle (Tyler Baze 12-1); Hamwood Flier (Joe Bravo 4-1); Buyback (Edwin Maldonado 15-1); Avenue de France (Juan Hernandez 3-1); Quiet Secretary (Brice Blanc 20-1); Carpe Vinum (Ramon Vazquez 4-1); Amy C (Umberto Rispoli 5-1); Sassyserb (Drayden Van Dyke 20-1); Rocking Redhead (Abel Cedillo 8-1); Bye Bye Bertie (Victor Espinoza 8-1), and Ever Smart (Ryan Curatolo 20-1).
Del Mar Press Release
Photo: Horses breaking from the Del Mar starting gate (Benoit Photo)