Stakes Triple-scoop Topped with GI Hollywood Derby 

December 1, 2022

Beyond Brilliant winning the 2021 Hollywood Derby. (Benoit Photo)

Scheduled for Saturday Card at Del Mar


DEL MAR, Calif.—A trio of stakes races, headed by the 82nd edition of the Grade I, $400,000 Hollywood Derby, will highlight a special racing card Saturday at Del Mar on the penultimate day of the sport for the 2022 Bing Crosby Season.

Also, on the nine-race program will be the 32nd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and the initial running of the $100,000 Stormy Liberal Stakes for older horses at five furlongs on the turf. The day’s activities begin with a 12:30 p.m. first post.

The Hollywood Derby will be having its ninth presentation at Del Mar at its mile and one eighth distance on the lawn. The first local running of the feature in 2014 saw 3-year-old champion California Chrome win it handily and cement his bid to be Horse of the Year.

This time around there are 11 well-respected 3-year-olds with their eyes on the money and prestige the race offers, but there are no standouts in the lineup. Five eastern-based horses, including three out of the barn of conditioner H. Graham Motion, will try their luck in the turf test and it appears likely that one of them may go postward the favorite.

A pair of Hall of Fame conditioners – Claude “Shug” McGaughey III and Todd Pletcher – have runners entered that may draw the most mutuel action in Stuart Janney III’s Celestial City (McGaughey) and Repole Stable, St. Elias Stable and Gainesway Stable’s Wit (Pletcher). Both well-bred colts are stakes winners in the east and, naturally, have drawn top local riders — Ramon Vazquez on Celestial City and Flavien Prat on Wit. The race will be run as the ninth and final event on the day’s card.

The Jimmy Durante, formerly known as the Miesque Stakes when it was contested at Hollywood Park, has drawn a field of 12 and it, too, has its fair share of shippers set to try their luck locally.

Trainer Motion has brought in Madaket Stables, Jones or Little Red Feather’s Pallotta Sisters from Delaware Park, conditioner Simon Callaghan will send out Nentwig or CYBT’s Decorated My Life, a Irish filly making her U.S. bow and eastern kingpin Chad Brown has Alpha Delta Stables’ Liguria in from New York for her first taste of stakes competition. The Jimmy Durante goes as Race 7 on the program.

Finally, the first-running of the Stormy Liberal has proven popular enough to lure nine sprinters for its turf dash, all of them trained locally. Among those of note in the field are Sterling Racing’s Whatmakessammyrun, winner of the Grade II Eddie D Stakes on the downhill turf course at Santa Anita on October 1, and the double stakes winner Sumter, owned by Ramona and Perry Bass. The Stormy Liberal will be Race 5 on the afternoon.

Here are the full fields:

What a day for @jonathanstettin who had the Rainbow 6 twice! That’s why he’s the KING!

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