If trainer Bob Baffert is able to win today's $250,000 Del Mar Debutante for the fourth time in the last five years, he's going to have to beat his former assistant, Eoin Harty. And it won't be easy. Harty, who trains privately for Godolphin Racing, will send out 3-5 favorite Tempera in the seven-furlong Grade I. A daughter of A.P. Indy, Tempera broke her maiden in her second career start, then beat double-stakes winner Georgia's Storm by nine lengths in the Sorrento Stakes 22 days ago in her first start at Del Mar. Baffert's entrant is 5-2 second choice Habibti, who has changed her name since winning her debut here on July 29. Called Habibaty for her first race, the Tabasco Cat filly rallied from well off the pace to roll past favored Ayanna and win by two lengths. Owned by Prince Ahmed Salman's Thoroughbred Corporation, Habibti was purchased for $450,000 earlier this year. The other Debutante players are Lil Miss Hollywood, Respectful, Que Bonita, Who Loves Aleyna and Roaring Blaze.
Race of the day: The third race is a maiden affair for 2-year-olds and will mark the debut of Cottonwood Cowboy and Spillikin, a son of Woodman owned by Godolphin. A $110,000 purchase in February by trainer Chris Paasch for owners Rod and Lorraine Rodriguez, Cottonwood Cowboy is a son of Meadowlake. Paasch has already won with a pair of 2-year-old rookies at the meet--Kamack and Roman Dancer. Spillikin will be coupled in the wagering with Janadel, a Machiavellian colt who was a fast-finishing third in his bow behind Roman Dancer on Aug. 4.
Who's hot: Bob Hess, Jr. After a slow beginning, the trainer has warmed up in recent weeks. He had two winners Friday. Unbridled Dignity, the $2 million colt, finally broke his maiden and longshot J Cash won the fourth.
Who's not: Lido. Once a promising horse on the turf, the 6-year-old has fallen on hard times. He will be a longshot in today's finale, a $10,000 claimer, and has only won once in 17 starts since the beginning of 2000.
Exotically speaking: A pick three singling Civilisation in the first, River Valley Lass, No Equity and Thunder Valley in the second and the Janadel-Spillikin entry and Cottonwood Cowboy in the third.