Week Four Stakes Spotlight Shines on 2YO Prospects

August 7, 2023

Muth wins his June 18 debut by 8 ¾ lengths (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Del Mar Stable Notes by Jim Charvat

DEL MAR, Calif.— The new kids on the block, the 2-year-olds, take center stage in next weekend’s stakes action at Del Mar. Three of the four stakes races in week four of the summer meet feature juveniles. Some are starting their racing careers; others are stepping up in class while a few more are hoping to make the grade and earn a shot in one of the Grade I opportunities at the end of the meet.

The newest group of Cal-breds get their time to shine in the 72nd running of the $125,000 Graduation Stakes on Friday. A contentious group of 10 have been nominated for the 5 ½ furlong sprint on the main track including Mici’s Express, who broke his maiden at Del Mar on opening weekend.

Saturday, 2-year-old fillies get their shot in the 55th running of the G3 Sorrento. The six-furlong drill on the main track is the local prep for the G1 Debutante next month. Trainer Bob Baffert’s Dua, winner of a maiden special weight at Del Mar on opening weekend, and Doug O’Neill’s Ur in Trouble, who was second to Dua, top the list of 11 talented nominees.

Sunday, juvenile colts are in the spotlight in the 53rd edition of the G3 Best Pal, named after the first Pacific Classic winner and one of the greatest Cal-breds to ever race. Eight colts have been nominated for the six-furlong test, including two of trainer Bob Baffert’s promising young stars, Muth and Prince of Monaco. The winner most likely will go on to the G1 Del Mar Futurity on closing day.

The beautifully conditioned Macadamia (BRZ) wins the Gamely for D’Amato May 29 (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

The co-feature on Saturday is the 71st running of the G2 Yellow Ribbon for fillies and mares, 3 years old and up. 15 have been nominated for the mile and a sixteenth grass race including Phil D’Amato’s Macadamia and Leonard Powell’s Neige Blanche.

Macadamia has risen to the top of the Filly and Mare Turf division, winning three of her last four races, including last out in the G1 Gamely at Santa Anita. Neige Blanche won her last race, the $100,000 Possibly Perfect. She also won the 2021 Red Carpet at Del Mar.

COOLING OUT

Due to an exemption, Del Mar’s leading jockey, Juan Hernandez was able to ride Adare Manor in the G1 Clement Hirsch Saturday despite serving a 3-day suspension for careless riding last week. Hernandez may have earned himself a Breeders’ Cup mount. “I’m excited with her,” Hernandez says. “She has been so kind to me. I think she can make it.”…

Notable Works on Sunday

Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire 

Dirt 

Cash Equity (4F, :48.20)

Anisette (4F, :49.60)

Du Jour (5F, 1:01.40)

Eda (5F, 1:01.80

National Treasure (6F, 1:12.60)

Turf 

Classical Cat (4F, :47.40)

Conclude (4F, :48.40)

Hong Kong Harry (4F, :49.40)

Macadamia (4F, :49.80)

Motorious (4F, :50.40)

Exaulted (5F, 1:02.00)

A total of 214 horses posted official works on the dirt, 31 on the turf, 15 of which were Phil D’Amato horses. Del Mar works can be viewed on XBTV

Mystic Flyer, outside works in company with Lord Bullingdon (4F, 47.60) Saturday, August 5 (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)

Work of the Day at Del Mar: Benedetta worked 4 Furlongs in 47.20 on August 5th

Work of the Day at Del Mar: Arabian Knight worked 4 Furlongs in 49.20 on August 4th

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