Tizamagician Hopes To Conjure a Win in Native Diver

November 27, 2022

Benoit Photo

DMTC Stable Notes

DEL MAR, Calif.— Tizamagician will try again to get back in the winner’s circle when the stakes action at Del Mar shifts to the main track Sunday for the mile and an eighth, G3 Native Diver.

The son of Tiznow heads up a six-pack of horses, 3-year-olds and up. He hasn’t had his picture taken after a race since winning the G3 Cougar II during the summer meet at Del Mar in 2021. Since then he’s run in nothing but Graded stakes, finishing in the money four out of six times. He was runner-up in the 2021 Pacific Classic, runner-up in defense of his crown in this year’s Cougar II, and third in his latest race, the G3 Tokyo City at Santa Anita last month.

‘I wish it was another 3/8’s of a mile,” trainer Richard Mandella says of the Native Diver. “He likes a mile and a half. But it’s the only place I had to run him and he’s doing good so we’ll just give it a try.”

Tizamagician isn’t the only Mandella horse having a hard time finding the winners circle. The Hall of Fame trainer got off to a slow start to the Bing Crosby meet, going oh-for 11 before winning back-to-back races Friday afternoon.

“I’m doing everything to my whole barn to get them over the hump,” Mandella says. “They’ve had me under a cloud since summer. So I’m doing anything I can to try to break out.”

Standing in the way of Mandella and Tizamagician are two horses in good form right now. Defunded is coming off of a breakout win in the G1 Awesome Again at Santa Anita last month.

“It was one of his better races,” trainer Bob Baffert says. “He keeps getting better but he hasn’t run well at Del Mar for some reason.”

The son of Dialed In had a rough summer at Del Mar, running seventh in the G2 San Diego and then sixth in the shorter G2 Pat O’Brien. Baffert says he was going to send Defunded out of town to run, but decided to keep him here for the Native Diver Sunday.

“I think it’s a good spot for him,” he says. “It’s a nice race and he likes the distance.”

Baffert is also giving Azul Coast a chance to defend his title in the Native Diver. The 5-year-old son of Super Saver hasn’t won since winning last year’s race, finishing eighth and last in the Awesome Again and then fifth and last in an allowance last out.

He was beaten that day by former Baffert trainee Newgrange, who is now in the Philip D’Amato barn and is also entered in the Native Diver. The 3-year-old son of Violence made some noise on the Kentucky Derby trail earlier this year but went to the sideline after a sixth-place finish in the G2 Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park in February.

He returned in September and ran third in the Shared Belief here at Del Mar but then won a second level allowance by five lengths at Santa Anita last out.

“He’s got every right to keep improving, “D’Amato says. “He was a nice graded stakes winner earlier this year, was sold privately, and he’s just getting better and better.”

The G3 Native Diver is the eighth of nine races on the Sunday card.

Here’s the field from the rail with the jockeys and morning line: Azul Coast (John Velazquez, 6-1); Tizamagician (Flavien Prat, 4-1); Go Joe Won (Jose Valdivia, Jr., 12-1); Newgrange (Ricardo Gonzalez, 5/2); Defunded (Edwin Maldonado, 6/5), and Parnelli (Victor Espinoza, 6-1).

Free & Fun Sundays On Tap At Del Mar

“Free & Fun Sundays” will be happening tomorrow at Del Mar, a racing fan’s delight that brings a bounty of good things for those who belong to, or join, the track’s Diamond Club.

Members get free admission and a program. The also get a free seat. And they get food and beverage discounts like a Coors Light beer for only $5 and a Brandt Beef hot dog, also for only a fiver.

For those who aren’t already a Diamond Club member, the sign up only takes a few minutes and is readily available just outside the Stretch Run admission gates.

COOLING OUT: Jockey Flavien Prat put a serious dent in Juan Hernandez’ sizable lead in the jockey standings Friday when he won four races. Prat dominated the Del Mar rider standings for several years and returned from back east this fall. He now has 12 wins, only three back of Hernandez…Lava Man is being celebrated in Kentucky today. The multiple grade one winner, turned lead pony, retired after the Breeders’ Cup this year. Today Old Friends is hosting an open house for fans to meet Lava Man. Pizza and lava crunch cakes will be served…Another quiet day of training at Del Mar. In all, 17 horses put in official workouts this morning.

Del Mar Statistics

Jockey Standings
(Current Through Friday, November 25, 2022 Inclusive)

JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%In-money%Money Won
Juan Hernandez47158532%60%$823,120
Flavien Prat491212224%53%$794,470
Ramon Vazquez3988421%51%$417,560
Edwin Maldonado3553214%29%$223,512
John Velazquez2644915%65%$325,020
Hector Berrios2536412%52%$239,980
Joe Bravo2033715%65%$209,215
Mario Gutierrez1924111%37%$119,540
Abel Cedillo252348%36%$137,320
Umberto Rispoli342256%26%$139,752

Trainer Standings
(Current Through Friday, November 25, 2022 Inclusive)

TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%In-money%Money Won
Philip D’Amato28117339%75%$674,544
Doug F. O’Neill2164229%57%$289,600
Bob Baffert1654231%69%$333,800
Peter Miller2354222%48%$269,940
Jeff Mullins1333123%54%$183,360
George Papaprodromou2232414%41%$133,791
Carla Gaines1031130%50%$164,556
Vladimir Cerin430075%75%$76,340
Steve R. Knapp1824411%56%$118,540
Mark Glatt2023510%50%$195,372

Winning Favorites Report
(Current Through Friday, November 25, 2022 Inclusive)

Winning favorites — 25 out of 69 — 36.23%
Winning favorites on dirt — 12 out of 33 — 36.36%
Winning favorites on turf — 13 out of 36 — 36.11%
Winning odds-on favorites — 7 out of 11 — 63.64%
In-the-Money favorites — 50 out of 69 — 72.46%
In-the-Money odds-on favorites — 9 out of 11 — 81.82%

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