DEL MAR : Pincay Will Ride Twilight Agenda; Nakatani to Stay on Itsallgreektome
With Corey Nakatani committed to Itsallgreektome, Laffit Pincay will ride Twilight Agenda, who has won three consecutive stakes, in Saturday’s $1-million Pacific Classic.
Both Twilight Agenda, who has won the Super Diamond, Bel Air and San Diego handicaps in succession, and Farma Way worked for Wayne Lukas on Monday morning, preparing for the 1 1/4-mile Classic.
The probable favorite in the eighth leg of the American Championship Series, Farma Way went six furlongs in 1:12 2/5 and Twilight Agenda went five furlongs in 1:00 3/5.
“They both worked really well,” said Randy Bradshaw, Lukas’ assistant. Lukas will be at Saratoga through Friday.
“We didn’t want Twilight Agenda to go any faster than a minute and he went 1:00 3/5. Farma Way went 1:12 2/5 and we wanted about 1:12 4/5 or 1:13 for him, so they did exactly what we wanted. We’re looking forward to Saturday.”
Stalwart Charger’s status for the race will be determined by his workout this morning, according to trainer Pico Perdomo. The winner of the Del Mar Budweiser Breeders’ Cup in 1990, the 4-year-old Stalwart gelding has run poorly in his only two starts this year. He ran last in the Greinton Handicap on the Hollywood Park turf July 19, then finished sixth of seven in the San Diego Handicap.
If Stalwart Charger runs, he could be the longest shot in the field
One horse who won’t run in the Classic is Louis Cyphre, who was third as the favorite in the San Diego.
“He’s never carried that kind of weight,” said trainer Bobby Frankel. “I don’t think he could beat these horses carrying 124 (pounds).”
All Classic starters will carry 124 pounds except for Best Pal. The only 3-year-old in the lineup will carry 116.
The probable field for the richest race in Del Mar history includes Anshan (Gary Stevens), Best Pal (Pat Valenzuela), Farma Way (Chris McCarron), Festin (Eddie Delahoussaye), Itsallgreektome (Nakatani), Roanoke (no rider), Stalwart Charger (Roberto Gonzalez), Twilight Agenda (Pincay) and Unbridled (Craig Perret).
Tight Spot was assigned 125 pounds for Sunday’s $300,000 Eddie Read Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.
Unbeaten in six starts on the grass, Tight Spot will pick up two pounds off his last victory, by one length over Exbourne in the American Handicap on July 4 at Hollywood Park. As a 3-year-old, Tight Spot won the La Jolla Handicap and the Del Mar Derby over this turf course.
Algenib, who was impressive in his American debut in an allowance race at Hollywood Park, was assigned 120 pounds for the Grade I race.
The Prime Minister, who has been plagued by physical problems throughout his career, made it two consecutive victories when he won Monday’s feature, a $50,000 allowance race.
A wire-to-wire winner over the Hollywood Park turf July 21, the 4-year-old Deputy Minister colt used the same tactics to beat Honor Grades and five others in 1:42 for the 1 1/16 miles.
Ridden by Valenzuela and trained by Charlie Whittingham, The Prime Minister has now won four of six. He paid $4.
Mane Minister, who finished last as the favorite in Sunday’s La Jolla Handicap, came out of the race fine, according to trainer Paco Gonzalez.
Valenzuela had three winners Monday and moved into the lead in the jockey standings. He has 19 through the first two weeks.
Besides winning with The Prime Minister, Valenzuela had a double in tandem with trainer Mike Mitchell--Crafty Storm in the second and Are You My Casey in the ninth.