Showdown Set Between Different and Exotic Wood
Two of the nation’s five best female dirt performers will get together in the $311,200 Chula Vista Handicap here Sunday.
With Jewel Princess waiting for the Turfway Breeders’ Cup on Sept. 21, Serena’s Song busy back East and Twice The Vice waiting for another day, Different and Exotic Wood will square off in the Grade II, the best of the Labor Day weekend stakes.
Between them, the 4-year-old fillies have won 10 of 11 starts in this country.
Most of the victories--and the only loss--belong to Exotic Wood, who has cast aside any doubts about her ability to handle two turns with consecutive wins at 1 1/16 miles and 1 1/8 miles.
The latter was far more conclusive. Shipped to Saratoga for Go For Wand, the daughter of Rahy relaxed while setting the pace under Chris McCarron, then responded when challenged and won by 2 1/2 lengths.
Back in California, she has trained well locally and had a 1:26 2/5, seven-furlong workout last Monday. Chris McCarron, who has ridden both fillies, will stay with Exotic Wood.
Eddie Delahoussaye takes over on Different, who has displayed versatility in her two victories in the United States after winning five of six in Argentina.
A daughter of Candy Stripes, she beat allowance rivals by five lengths on the dirt, then stepped up to Grade I company on turf and won by nearly two lengths in the Beverly Hills Handicap, beating Bail Out Becky, Flagbird and Auriette, among others.
Owned by Sid Craig and trained by Ron McAnally, who enjoyed success with another Argentine filly, Paseana, Different will break from the rail in the Chula Vista, right inside of Exotic Wood.
If a certain pattern continues, Different will win the Chula Vista. Craig’s horses have won the race twice in even-numbered years, Exchange in 1992 and Paseana in 1994.
The 1 1/16-mile race also includes the defending champion, Borodislew, who beat Lakeway by a head last year and is unbeaten in two races here.
Talloires, who skipped the Arlington Million last week, is the 9-5 favorite against six opponents in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap today.
A difficult horse to ride, Talloires got his act together in the Caesars Palace Turf Handicap at Hollywood Park, winning easily at 13-1. It gave Richard Mandella the victory, but deprived his other entrant, favored Sandpit, of a hefty bonus.
Owned in part by Hollywood Park CEO R.D. Hubbard, the 6-year-old son of Trempolino has never tried the Del Mar turf course, but he should like the deep layout.
The 4-1 third choice on the morning line, Dernier Empereur is proven over the course. He was much the best when he won the Escondido Handicap three weeks ago.
Also in the field are Urgent Request, who will try to lead the entire 1 3/8 miles; Party Season, who was third in the race last year; Ianomami, Bon Point and Draco, who won the Kobuk King at this distance earlier in the meeting.
Troubled in the Eddie Read Handicap earlier this month, Big Sky Jim got his front-running trip and gamely held off The Key Rainbow to win the $55,975 Warden on Friday.
Giving jockey Alex Solis his fifth victory of the afternoon, the 5-2 second choice won by a head and covered the 1 3/8 miles on turf in 2:16 2/5.
Solis had won with his first four mounts--Saucy Lady B., Born Optimist, Rexy Sexy and Raise The Prize. The last jockey to ride five winners in a day at Del Mar was Gary Stevens in 1994.
“I liked the horses I was riding today,” Solis said. “I really thought I’d have a good day today. After I won the third [with longshot Rexy Sexy], I was in a zone. I was getting higher and higher.”
Commoner, the 17-10 favorite in the Warden, finished last in the field of seven.
Stevens, riding for the first time since undergoing shoulder surgery in June, didn’t have a storybook return.
Private Pursuit, the filly he rode for trainer Wayne Lukas in the $200,000 Spinaway Friday at Saratoga, finished eighth in the field of nine at 26-1.
Oath, a 16-1 shot ridden by Shane Sellers, rallied from last after half a mile to beat favored Pearl City, also trained by Lukas, and won the Grade I for 2-year-olds. She ran the seven furlongs in 1:23 3/5.
Successful by three lengths in her Saratoga debut 19 days earlier, Oath is trained by Frank Brothers for Cherry Valley Farm.
Horse Racing Notes
Jane Canani, 50, a former trainer, died Wednesday night of what appeared to be a heart attack while jogging near her home in Huntington Beach. The former wife of former trainer Julio Canani, she is survived by her son Nick and daughter Lisa. Services are scheduled for 3 p.m. Tuesday at Westminster Memorial Park in Westminster. . . . Jockey Pat Valenzuela has received a stay of the suspension he was handed Thursday for an incident in Wednesday’s seventh race. Valenzuela was disqualified on Steel Ruhlr for crossing over without sufficient clearance shortly after the start and the suspension was to have started Sunday.
Corey Nakatani was suspended for five days, beginning Sept. 6, after being disqualified and penalized from second to seventh on Invictus in Thursday’s fifth race. . . . Odyle, who scored in his comeback on Monday, will probably make his next start in the Woodbine Million on Sept. 15. The race is 1 1/8 miles.