The 55th edition of the Grade 2, $200,000 San Clemente Stakes Saturday at Del Mar is a wide-open affair. As in widddddeeeeee-open. If you like a horse, you’ll no doubt get your price.
A dozen 3-year-old fillies will go at it in the last event on an 11-race card that has a first post of 2 p.m. PT. The one-mile grass race has traditionally served as Del Mar’s major prep for its 3-year-old filly piece de resistance, the Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks, which this year will be run for the 66th time on Saturday, Aug. 20.
By way of a clue as to how tough the San Clemente shapes up, you’ll note that Del Mar’s morning line maker, Jon White, has hung the favorite – Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT or Nentwig’s Bellabel – at a hardly short 4-1. She gets Umberto Rispoli as her pilot and a chance to break from Post 6.
There are a pair of other fillies who figure to give the top one her toughest tussles – R Unicorn Stable’s Island of Love (5-1 with Juan Hernandez up) and Tina and Jerome Moss’ Lady T (6-1 with Victor Espinoza in the tack.).
Here’s the full field for the Day 2 headliner from the rail out with riders and morning line odds:
Lady T; Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Countess Rosina (Ryan Curatolo, 8-1); Michael House’s Sixteen Arches (Abel Cedillo, 20-1); Slam Dunk Racing or Newman’s Tezzaray (Ramon Vazquez, 6-1); Abbondanza Racing or Aldabbagh’s Gem Mine (Jose Valdivia, Jr., 10-1); Bellable; Island of Love; Cacchiotti Ranch’s Anthonys Cleopatra (Fernando Alvarado, 20-1); Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT or Nentwig’s Helens Well (Tigao Pereira, 8-1); Panic Stable’s Lucky Girl (Joe Bravo, 8-1); Medallion Racing’s Mise Le Meas (Drayden Van Dyke, 8-1), and Moon S. Han’s Gold Dragon Queen (Abdul Alsagoor, 30-1).
Bellabel is an Irish lassie by the stallion Belardo. She looked sharp winning her U.S. bow Jan. 2 at Santa Anita, clicking by better than two in the Blue Northern overnight. She hasn’t raced since then but has been prepping steadily for her return.
Island of Love has raced six times, five of them in stakes, and she’s a three-time winner, including the Grade 3 Senorita at Santa Anita on May 7. She, too, is an Irish-bred, this time by Kodiac.
Lady T was a close-up second in her most recent outing, the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita on June 12. She’s a Kentucky-bred by the top stallion Into Mischief and races for the connections – Jerome Moss and trainer John Shirreffs – that gave the racing world the mighty mare Zenyatta.
Also on the Sunday card is the $100,000 Osunitas Stakes, an overnight affair for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up. The one-mile turfer – which goes as Race 9 — has lured 12 runners also and Convergence Stable and Madaket Stables’ Avenue de France, a 5-year-old mare who has won six races, is listed as the 3-1 morning line favorite.