HORSE RACING DEL MAR : Garcia Drops By to Win Ramona


Perhaps only passing through, Julio Garcia arrived at Del Mar in time to ride Campagnarde, a 12-1 shot, to victory over Bequest in Saturday’s $331,250 Ramona Handicap.

Garcia was back riding Saturday after being gone nine days. He had cleared out his locker and left abruptly, even though he was scheduled to ride at the time. The track stewards fined him $100 for not honoring his mounts, but allowed Garcia to return Saturday after he met with them earlier in the day.

Tony Matos, Garcia’s agent, said that the jockey, who will turn 31 next month, went to Puerto Rico to iron out domestic problems. Matos said that he was dropping Garcia, but they were back together Saturday.


After the Ramona, Garcia said that he was going to ride today in Puerto Rico, where he rode several winners last week. Garcia was named to ride some horses Saturday night at the Orange County Fair at Los Alamitos. The mounts he has today at Del Mar have either been scratched or are likely to be scratched. Dave Samuel, one of the Del Mar stewards, said that they want Garcia to honor the six mounts he has here Monday.

Garcia arrived at the San Diego airport at 10:30 Saturday morning and reached the track about 90 minutes before the first race.

“I came back because my agent told me he wanted me to ride today,” Garcia said.

“I’m going back to Puerto Rico tonight (Saturday). But I’ll be back Monday. I’m still not sure if I’m going to stay here or not. All the things I like are in Puerto Rico. It’s easier there. I just don’t know what I’m going to do.”

After beginning his career in Puerto Rico, Garcia came to Santa Anita and was the leading apprentice in 1984. Returning to Puerto Rico, he rode a record 321 winners there in 1989. He was the regular rider on Mister Frisky, before the colt was shipped to the United States and extended his winning streak to 16 races with a victory in last year’s Santa Anita Derby. Garcia resumed riding in California last year.

Garcia and Campagnarde were ninth in the 10-horse Ramona field after three-quarters of a mile, but the Argentine-bred 4-year-old filly surged in the stretch and edged Bequest.

Campagnarde, owned by Allen Paulson and trained by Charlie Whittingham, paid $27.40 to win, running the 1 1/8 miles on grass in 1:49 2/5. She carried 115 pounds, three less than Bequest and Somethingmerry, who were the high weights.

Campagnarde’s first U.S. start came on July 31, when she won an allowance race here with Gary Stevens aboard. That was the filly’s first start in almost eight months. Campagnarde had four victories, one second and two thirds in eight starts before the Ramona, with earnings of $74,000. Saturday’s victory was worth $196,250.

“She’s small but she’s powerful,” said Whittingham, who had won the Ramona five other times, the last coming in 1981. “I didn’t think she was going to get through, because she had trouble a couple of times. She just wouldn’t stop.”

Garcia gained the mount because Stevens chose to ride Guiza, who had given him a victory in a division of the Palomar Handicap here on July 28 in his first U.S. race.

“Whatever the jock’s problems are, it’s none of my business,” Whittingham said.

Countus In, Agirlfromars and Annual Reunion contested the pace down the backstretch, with the first half-mile going by in a slow :48 3/5.

Countus In still had the lead on the turn for home, but she faded in the stretch and wound up sixth. In mid-stretch, Bequest and Guiza battled for the lead, and when Bequest and Eddie Delahoussaye spurted away, they looked like winners. Somethingmerry, ridden by Laffit Pincay, had some run left, but was trapped on the rail. Delahoussaye had won three races earlier on the card and got a strong run from Bequest, who had not raced in 4 1/2 months. “I didn’t have the best of trips,” Delahoussaye said. “Then she got a little tired on me at the finish.”

The winner might have had the most trouble of all. “I was going in and out on the backstretch,” Garcia said. “At the three-eighths pole, I took her all the way outside and she went.”

Horse Racing Notes

Trainer Wayne Lukas remained at Del Mar while his Corporate Report won the $1-million Travers. “(His son) Jeff asked me to come, but I felt that the horse would run just as good whether I was there or here,” Lukas said. Corporate Report was saddled at Saratoga by Jeff. The senior Lukas, who owns 25% of Corporate Report, also had a stake winner at Ellis Park in Covington, Ky., where Summer Matinee was first in the $150,000 Gardenia for Clover Racing Stable. Corey Black rode that winner.