Consignors watching weekend stakes close

Photo by Zoe Metz

Stable DMTC notes

DEL MAR, Calif.— Del Mar is bracing for another invasion next week.

The entries for next weekend’s stakes at Del Mar have been released, and the five races are loaded with out-of-town shippers, all coming to the seaside oval to claim a piece of the $1.1 million purse money .

Trainers Chad Brown, Graham Motion and Christophe Clement have nominated horses for the G3 Jimmy Durante, the first of three graded stakes chosen on Saturday. Brown has a pair of horses that have been following the race for 2-year-old fillies. Liguria broke her maiden last in the Belmont meet at Aqueduct. Private Credit broke his maiden at Monmouth Park in September, winning by four lengths.

Motion is looking to run Pallotta Sisters, a maiden winner last time out at Delaware Park, and Clement could bring in Smokie Eyes, a third-place finisher to Chelsey Flower in the Belmont meet at Aqueduct last month.

The Hollywood Derby is the first of two Grade 1 races scheduled for next weekend. Motion has three colts nominated for the 1 1/8 mile turf race. Evan Harlan broke his maiden in the Belmont meeting at Aqueduct, Speaking Scout ran second to Cabo Spirit in the G2 Twilight Derby, last after winning the Hawthorne Derby two lengths back. And Script just missed with an impressive closing shot in the Let It Ride Stakes at the start of the Bing Crosby meeting.

Trainer Shug McGaughey is considering running Celestial City in the Hollywood Derby. Son of Uncle Mo won G2 Hill Prince at Belmont at Aqueduct last outing. He also finished second to Annapolis in the G3 Saranac and third in the G2 Hall of Fame, both at Saratoga this summer.

Another possible Derby invader is trainer Todd Pletcher’s Wit, runner up to Ready to Purrform in the G2 Hall of Fame before winning the $135,000 Better Talk Now Stakes at Saratoga. Then he missed Balnikhov by a neck in the Bryan Station at Keeneland last month.

Two more potential consignors have been nominated for Sunday’s G3 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes, a mile race for 2-year-olds. Motion, who has held a string of horses here at Del Mar this fall, can lead Disdainful, an Irishman who finished second in an entry-level allowance at Keeneland in his U.S. debut last month.

Also considered is Liar’s Poker from the Clement barn. Broke his maiden in his Belmont debut at Aqueduct.

The final race of the Fall Turf Festival and the final stakes of the G1 Matriarch Bing Crosby Meeting caught the eye of Chad Brown, who nominated multiple grade one winners Regal Glory and Dolce Zel.

Clement is thinking of bringing Pizza Bianca back to the stage of her best race. She won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf here at Del Mar in 2021.

Motion could run Kathryn Crosby winner Bipartisanship in Matriarch, while trainer Bill Mott nominated Wakanaka, runner-up to Regal Glory in this summer’s G1 Just A Game at Belmont Park. She followed that with a win in the G2 Dance Smartly at Woodbine in July and won the $350,000 Fall Harvest Stakes at Keeneland on the Breeders’ Cup undercard.

Entries for the three races on Saturday will be drawn on Wednesday and for the two races on Sunday on Thursday.

COOLING: Saturday’s G2 Seabiscuit winner Hong Kong Harry exited the race in order. Coach Philip D’Amato says they will focus on the mile races next year. “He’s a happy camper,” says D’Amato. “His stall is right next to Prince Abama (Friday’s Hollywood Cup winner) and they’re gushing at each other.”… Notable works for Sunday: Dirt – Slow Down Andy (4f, :47.80); Scorner (4f, :50.40), Giver Not A Taker (5f, 1:01.20). Lawn – Bellabel (5f, 1:02.60); Hamwood Flyer (5f, 1:02.80); Love Island (5f, 1:02.20); Rhea Moon (5f, 1:03.40), Speaking Scout (5f, 1:02.80). A total of 63 horses entered in official work on Sunday, 26 on the turf.

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