Two graded grass stakes – both at a mile and one-eighth out of the track’s unique angled infield chute — will highlight an 11-race card scheduled for Saturday afternoon at Del Mar – the Grade 2, $250,000 Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby and the Grade 2, $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes.
The Saturday program will have a first post a half hour earlier than normal – 1:30 instead of 2 p.m. – and that will be the case also with Sunday’s and Monday’s cards during the Labor Day weekend. The Mabee, which is Race 9 on the Saturday card, will go off at approximately 5:30 and the Derby will be the day’s nitecap and run at approximately 6:30.
The Derby has drawn 14 runners and is, of course, for 3-year-olds as the culminating event in the track’s turf triple for sophomores, having been preceded by the Runhappy Oceanside Stakes and the Grade 3 La Jolla Stakes.
The first three finishers in both of those “prep” races are back to give it a go in this 77th edition of the Derby, which makes for a delicious mix. And the fact that Del Mar’s morning line maker, Jon White, has made his favorite a very tepid 9/2 tells you that the race looms wide open with a thrilling finish likely to decide the winner.
The Mabee has drawn nine fillies and mares for its 64th running and it, too, appears to be the kind of race where contention runs deep. LNJ Foxwoods’ Dogtag has been made a slight 3-1 favorite over Slam Dunk Racing, Stable Currency and Branham’s Maxim Rate at 7/2.
Here are the fields for the two features from the rail out with riders and morning line odds:
Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby
- Double L Racing or Baffert’s Hudson Ridge (Flavien Prat, 9/2)
- Holly and David Wilson’s Barraza (Kent Desormeaux, 12-1)
- Reddam Racing’s Hockey Dad (Mario Gutierrez, 8-1)
- Downstream Racing’s None Above the Law (Joe Bravo, 12-1)
- Sayjay Racing’s No Foolery Here (Giovanni Franco, 8-1)
- STD Racing Stable, Kenly or Miller, et al’s Optimistic Valor (Edwin Maldonado, 30-1)
- Perry or Ramona Bass’ Petruchio (Mike Smith, 20-1)
- Sterling Stables, Nentwig or CYBT’s Cathkin Peak (Jose Valdivia, Jr., 12-1)
- Red Barons Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Zoffarelli (Drayden Van Dyke, 6-1)
- Bruno, Gezon or Jones’ Jimmy Blue Jeans (Kyle Grey, 12-1)
- Rockingham Ranch or Supreme Racing’s Lincoln Hawk (Tiago Pereira, 20-1)
- Hronis Racing’s Crew Dragon (Juan Hernandez, 8-1)
- Yuesheng Zhang’s Sword Zorro (Umberto Rispoli, 5-1)
- Wachtel Stable, Barber or Drion, et al’s Flashiest (Abel Cedillo, 6-1)
John C. Mabee Stakes
- Maxim Rate (Hernandez)
- Clarke Cooper Family Trust, Lawless, Kruljac, et al’s Quiet Secretary (Cedillo, 15-1)
- Dogtag (Rispoli); LNJ Foxwood’s Nasty (Ricky Gonzalez, 20-1)
- Deborah McAnally Trust’s She’s Our Charm (Franco, 10-1)
- Calvin Nguyen’s Bodhicitta (Desormeaux, 6-1)
- LNJ Foxwoods’ Tapwater (Bravo, 6-1)
- Abdondanza Racing and Medallion Racing’s Going to Vegas (Prat, 4-1)
- Aoshiba Corporation’s Fast Jet Court (Van Dyke, 6-1)
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