rachel

rachel

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

DEL MAR Handicap field good-sized

Steve Andersen,
Daily Racing Form

Tyler Baze had been expected to ride Obrigado in Sunday's $250,000 Del Mar Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf, but the mount on that 6-year-old gelding will go to Rafael Bejarano, who is returning to riding on Friday from facial injuries suffered in a spill on July 22.

The Del Mar Handicap is part of the Win and You're In program for the Breeders' Cup Turf over 1 1/2 miles on turf. The Del Mar Handicap is expected to have a large field, reflecting the absence of a standout in California's turf marathon division.

The probable starters are Artiste Royale, Black Astor, Itsnotjustagame, Midships, Obrigado, Porfido, Sir Dave, Spring House, and Transduction Gold.

Black Astor (Sunset Handicap), Midships (Charles Whittingham Handicap) and Spring House (San Luis Obispo Handicap) have won major stakes in Southern California this year.

Midships followed his win in the Whittingham at Hollywood Park on June 6 with a ninth-place finish at 7-2 in the Grade 1 Man o' War Stakes at Belmont Park on July 11. A 4-year-old colt, Midships was based with trainer Bobby Frankel's stable at Saratoga until earlier this month.

Monday at Del Mar, Midships worked six furlongs in 1:12, the third-fastest of 18 recorded works at the distance.

"He went a little quick, but I think the track was fast," said assistant trainer Humberto Ascanio.

The loss in the Man o' War, preceded by wins in the San Luis Rey, San Juan Capistrano and Whittingham, left Ascanio puzzled.

"I don't have an answer for that," he said. "He looks like his old self. I had him before he went to New York, and he looks good.

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