Race Preview: Oceanside Stakes Second Division - Del Mar, July 17, 2013
The second of the Oceanside Stake races on opening day at Del Mar on Wednesday is, on paper, one of the best editions of the race. In the field of nine, Pure Loyalty and R S Watson were early scratches, there are six stakes winner. Of course all of them are eligible because those wins were either in 2012 or were worth less than $50,000.
From the rail out, we start with Saint Prado, winner of a stakes race over the dirt at Pleasanton in his last start. Saint Prado is bred for the turf top and bottom and was fifth in his lone turf start, which was at Hollywood Park. The winner of that race, Joelito, should be one of the top choices in the Oceanside.
Gabriel Charles won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint last November and has not started since a second place finish as the post-time favorite in the Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita in December. The son of Street Hero was supposed to make a start last month, but was a late scratch after coming down with an illness. He appears to have been working well in the mornings though.
Den's Legacy may go favored for trainer Bob Baffert and is the most accomplished runner in the field. By Medaglia d'Oro, Den's Legacy won the Grade 3 Generous over the Hollywood Park turf course last November and is coming out of a good second in the Grade 3 Affirmed last month. Den's Legacy has tactical speed and can adapt to any pace scenario.
The pace will be set by Rosengold, winner of the Tsunami Slew this year and Pasadena and Baffle stakes last year. He is fast and only knows one way to go, to the lead. Good for him that the Del Mar turf course plays pretty even and horses loose on the lead win their fair share.
Other stake winners include Show Some Magic, winner of the Allison Futurity at Sunland Park in December, and Rising Legend, winner of a nursery stakes in England last September. Show Some Magic will be a long shot, but Rising Legend has a shot to upset if the pace is fast. The British-bred son of Rock of Gibraltar finished second to Den's Legacy in his last start.
The new face in the race is Si Sage, the French-bred making his first start in the U.S. for trainer Darrell Vienna. In France, Si Sage won three of his 11 races with five seconds and one third. According to the form the colt goes to the lead, but may find himself just off the pace with the quicker stateside splits. Jockey Rafael Bejarano can get a horse to settle very well on turf course and Si Sage is a healthy 5-1 on the morning line.
This is a brutal race that can go a number of ways, not even mentioned was Joelito, who was fourth in the Grade 2 American Turf at Churchill Downs in May and won a good allowance race in his last start. First race off the layoff may be his best.
Post time for the second division of the Oceanside is 9:17 pm ET.