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DEL MAR : Gold Splash Gets Back in Tune, Surges to Win Osunitas Stakes

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Gold Splash hurt all over. Bad backs will do that, to horses as well as humans. Trainer Dick Mandella did for his horse what he might have done for a human.

He called a chiropractor.

Mandella’s 4-year-old filly was a poster girl for chiropractic care Saturday, winning the $75,000 Osunitas Stakes in her first start since the unusual equine treatment. She beat Queens Court Queen by three-quarters of a length and Re Toss by another length in the 1 1/16th-mile race for older fillies and mares.

The trainer discovered Gold Splash’s problem after a third-place finish in an ungraded stakes at Hollywood Park in late May. His filly had come to the United States highly touted after successfully campaigning in England and France.

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“She had a problem with a vertebra in her neck,” said Chris Baker, Mandella’s assistant trainer. “It was affecting the long muscles all down her back, and it was throwing her completely off.”

Mandella, who was in Chicago Saturday for the Beverly D at Arlington, called a chiropractor, Don Crenshaw. Baker could not recall a chiropractor previously working on a Mandella horse.

“He did a lot of stretching and pulling and a series of exercise movements,” Baker said. “She probably had four or five treatments and he got her all aligned and into working order.”

The Osunitas set up with Angi Go, the front-runner among the six entrants, on the pace and setting decent fractions. Gold Splash figured to lay off the leader with Re Toss coming from far back.

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What happened was that Angi Go set slow fractions of 25 seconds for the first quarter-mile and 50 seconds for the half. Form was out the window.

“The main thing,” jockey Corey Nakatani said, “was to get her to relax. But the pace was so slow she was almost clipping heels. When you’re going that slow, you don’t spread out and the leaders aren’t going to stop. Hopefully, you’re in good position when it’s time to go.”

Gold Splash settled into last place through the first three-quarters of a mile, trailing even stretch-running Re Toss. However, Nakatani was able to get running room and Re Toss was boxed on the inside. The leaders were not coming back, so he had to go and get them.

“It got a little tight there on the turn,” Nakatani said, “but she got it done.”

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With only five horses entered in today’s Grade II Chula Vista Handicap, and Paseana and Exchange running as an entry, there will be no show betting. The entry is listed at 3-5 on the morning line and could go lower.

Paseana, ridden by Chris McCarron and trained by Ron McAnally, has made only one start this year, a victory in the Santa Margarita Handicap at Santa Anita in March. Exchange, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr. and trained by Bill Spawr, has also been lightly raced this year, making only three starts, one of them a victory here in the Bayakoa Handicap on Aug. 8.

The second morning-line choice, behind the entry, is English-bred Golden Klair, trained by Darrell Vienna and ridden by Corey Black. She earned a couple of Grade II victories in the spring at Hollywood Park and finished a close third to Potridee and Exchange in the Vanity Handicap on July 24, beaten by a length.

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Magical Maiden, the defending champion, has only one race this year, a second in the Rancho Bernardo Breeders’ Cup Handicap here Aug. 13. That was strictly a prep race for her at 6 1/2 furlongs. Today’s race is at 1 1/16ths.

The final entrant, Glass Ceiling, is coming off a second-place finish to Exchange in the Bayakoa, beaten by only a length.

Horse Racing Notes

Eddie Read Handicap winner Approach The Bench will make his next start in the Del Mar Handicap next Sunday, according to trainer Richard Cross. The trainer will also have Pollock’s Luck ready for the Del Mar Derby on Labor Day. . . . Jockey Polo Sanchez has been suspended for five days beginning Monday, joining Chris Antley and Nate Hubbard on the sidelines for the same period.

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Trainer Ron McAnally, whose Potridee finished third Saturday in the Beverly D at Arlington, will watch Johann Quatz run in the Arlington Million on television and then saddle Paseana for the Chula Vista. . . . Concept Win, who ran the fastest six furlongs at Del Mar in two years Friday, might run in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. . . . A week after her match race victory over Mamselle Bebette, Soviet Problem is back at Bay Meadows. Owner John Harris has not found an appropriate race for his 4-year-old sprinter.

Montreal Red, unbeaten in three starts, will try to become the second consecutive colt to sweep Saratoga’s three 2-year-old stakes in today’s seven-furlong Hopeful. Dehere did it last year.


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