Ole’ Del Mar — Where “The Surf Meets The Turf” — Begins Summer Racing Today

(Del Mar paddock / Photo Courtesy of Del Mar)

From the Media Team at Del Mar:

Thoroughbred racing returns to historic Del Mar Wednesday when the 79thseason begins with a ten-race program highlighted by the seaside track’s traditional opening-day feature, the $100,000-added Oceanside Stakes for three-year-olds at one mile over the infield Jimmy Durante grass course.

Post time for the first race is 2 p.m PT. Presented on a five-day-a-week schedule, Wednesday through Sunday, the 36-day meeting will feature a 41-race stakes schedule worth $7.3 million topped by the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 18. The season will conclude Labor Day Monday, September 3.

The Oceanside Stakes attracted a full field of 14 sophomores, with two on an also-eligible list, and shapes up as a wide-open betting contest with several entrants having performed well in stakes competition.

The field, in post position order: Arawak, Gary Stevens to ride; Texas Wedge, Flavien Prat (Del Mar’s leading rider in 2017); Pepe Tono, Alonso Quinonez; Artie Be Good, Stewart Elliott; Desert Stone, Corey Nakatani; Shane Zain, Mario Gutierrez; Restrainedvengeance, Evin Roman; Faversham, Tiago Pereira;  Move Over, Tyler Baze; Calexman, Giovanni Franco; Heartfullofstars, Santiago Gonzalez; Soltero, Joe Talamo; Afleet Ascent, Kent Desormeaux, and Respect the Hustle, Tyler Conner. Also eligible are More Honor,  Pereira, and Risky Proposition, Talamo.

 

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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