DEL MAR : Another Classic Is in the Future for Tinners Way
Tinners Way made his way up the freeway and back to his regular surroundings at Hollywood Park’s barn 52S Sunday, less than 24 hours after justifying the 200-mile round-trip van ride with a one-length victory in the $1-million Pacific Classic.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, who won Del Mar’s richest race for the third consecutive time, doesn’t have any specific plans for Tinners Way, but however the campaign unfolds, it is expected to lead to an appearance in the $3-million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5. An Eclipse Award winner last year as trainer and the national purse leader with $8.8 million, Frankel has started 22 horses without a victory in the Breeders’ Cup series.
“I’ll be looking for a race for him about a month from now,” Frankel said. “Then I’ll be looking for another race about a month before the Breeders’ Cup.”
Tinners Way is from the last crop sired by Secretariat, the 1973 Triple Crown champion who died in 1989. Lady’s Secret, a daughter of Secretariat, won the Breeders’ Cup Distaff in 1986, but Tinners Way became the first male from the sire to win a million-dollar race.
“He was a good grass horse when he ran in Europe,” said Frankel, who began training Tinners Way late last year. “We started running him on the dirt after I got him because we didn’t want him going up against some of the good grass horses that I had for Juddmonte.”
Frankel is the lead American trainer for Juddmonte Farms, which races world-wide for Prince Khalid Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Another Juddmonte star trained by Frankel is Fanmore, who will be one of the favorites in the Arlington Million on grass Aug. 28.
Frankel didn’t send any horses to Del Mar this season because he said too many broke down there last year. He vans his horses from Hollywood Park to Del Mar for their races.
“It’s working out,” Frankel said. “Tinners Way has got hot in the paddock before some of his races, but Saturday he was the best he’s ever been. I’m just glad my horses haven’t been at Santa Anita with this heat wave. It’s probably 120 degrees over there.”
Tinners Way won three of seven grass races in Europe, but was one for seven on dirt before the Pacific Classic. He benefited from fast fractions--21 3/5, 44 2/5 and 1:08 3/5--set during a pace duel between Bertrando and Slew Of Damascus.
“I think Tinners Way would have won even if they’d run the first half-mile in 46,” Frankel said. “One of the important things about this game is watching how the other guys train. Bertrando (who was in Frankel’s care last year when he was voted best older horse) wasn’t ready for a mile and a quarter. But I think Best Pal was fit. He ran a good race. I don’t think you’ll see him run a much better race than he did Saturday.”
Slew Of Damascus finished fourth, Bertrando was eighth and Best Pal ran second. Best Pal, whose career has been marred by sore hoofs, ran twice this winter at Santa Anita, then was off for more than five months before winning a sprint stake on July 22 at Hollywood Park, his only prep for the Pacific Classic.
“I’m not sure that we would have outrun Tinners Way, anyhow,” said Best Pal’s trainer, Richard Mandella, “but I was short of time in getting my horse ready for this race. I would have liked to have been able to give him one more race before Saturday, but I didn’t have that option. Best Pal’s a pretty gifted horse, and he almost made up for what the trainer wasn’t able to do.”
Bertrando and Best Pal weren’t the only top horses to lose during the weekend. Paradise Creek, undefeated this year, couldn’t beat Lure in the Bernard Baruch at Saratoga on Friday and the next day Heavenly Prize upset Lakeway in the Alabama at the upstate New York track. And two weeks before, Tabasco Cat, winner of the Preakness and Belmont Stakes, was beaten by Unaccounted For in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga.
Frankel became the second trainer to saddle the winners of the same million-dollar race three years in a row. Wayne Lukas won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile with Capote, Success Express and Is It True in 1986-88. Frankel didn’t have a starter in the first Pacific Classic, which Best Pal won in 1991, but he ran 1-2 with Missionary Ridge and Defensive Play in 1992 and was 1-2-4 with Bertrando, Missionary Ridge and Marquetry last year. Out of $3 million in Pacific Classic purse money in the last three years, the Frankel barn has earned $2.125 million.
The Arlington Million is next. Frankel has had terrible luck in the race, not finishing better than fifth with eight starters. In Fanmore, he has the winner of the Arlington Handicap on Aug. 7.
“That race over the course won’t hurt,” Frankel said. “I think he’ll run very well there.”
Horse Racing Notes
Marvin’s Faith prevailed in a four-horse photo finish Sunday in the La Jolla Handicap as trainer Ian Jory saddled his first Del Mar stakes winner since Best Pal in the 1990 Del Mar Futurity. Less than a length separated Unfinished Symph, Ocean Crest and You And I at the wire, with Marvin’s Faith, ridden by Chris Antley, winning by a nose over Unfinished Symph, the 6-5 favorite. Marvin’s Faith, scratched out of an allowance race Saturday, carried the low weight of 112 pounds in the seven-horse La Jolla. The 3-year-old gelding went from running in important stakes last year to a $32,000 claiming race at Hollywood Park six weeks ago. He was 16-1 Sunday after running fifth in a division of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day. Unfinished Symph went into the La Jolla off two stakes victories at Hollywood Park.
The Del Mar stewards have suspended jockey Antonio Castanon for 30 days for being “engaged in use of (a) drug.” Castanon, winless at Del Mar this season, must give proof of attending an ongoing rehabilitation program before he will be reinstated. . . . Saturday’s overall handle of $14.8 million was a Del Mar record.