Trainer Marion L. (Million Dollar) Smith died at the age of 59 Wednesday at Arcadia Methodist Hospital after a brief bout with cancer.
Among Smith’s stakes-winning horses were Snipledo, Cappucino Bay, Drouilly, Ice Folly and Murrtheblurr. Cappucino Bay raced for Smith as recently as July 31, when he finished fourth in the third race here.
Snipledo, a $60,000 claimer, was one of Smith’s favorite horses. He ultimately earned $393,315, including a victory in the Longacres Mile.
Smith is a native of Junction City, Kan. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Jockeys are engaged in a game of musical mounts for the $300,000 Del Mar Derby, an invitational race for 3-year-olds on Labor Day.
Laffit Pincay, for example, is listed by Noble Threewitt on Devoted Brass and by Rodney Rash on Blues Traveler. Bob Meldahl, Pincay’s agent, said the stewards may have to resolve the conflict.
Meanwhile, trainer Eddie Truman was hoping Patrick Valenzuela would be aboard Golden Slewpy, but trainer Richard Cross and Future Storm apparently have first call on Valenzuela.
Other jockey assignments include Corey Black on Art Of Living, Gary Stevens on Dare To Duel, Eddie Delahoussaye on Fatherland, Kent Desormeaux on Guide, Pat Day on Hawk Spell, Chris McCarron on Manny’s Prospect and David Flores on Zignew.
Trainer David Hofmans said Codified would miss the race. The Real Vaslav and Nonproductiveasset are expected to get provisional invitations today.
Trainer Richard Mandella will likely have two horses in Sunday’s $250,000 Del Mar Handicap: top-weighted favorite Kotashaan and provisional invitee Beyton.
The probable field includes Kotashaan, Desormeaux; Beyton, Stevens; Luazur, Day; Corrupt, Black; Stark South, Corey Nakatani; Campagnarde, Alex Solis; and Myrakalu, no rider assigned.