So far in 2003, Ballingarry has been more hype than performance.
Third in a Group 1 in Ireland in his final start in Europe and the winner of a Grade I at Woodbine in his final start for trainer Aidan O’Brien on Sept. 29, the 4-year-old Sadler’s Wells colt is only one for five this year.
His victory came in the Stars and Stripes Breeders’ Cup Handicap, a Grade III, where he prevailed by half a length as the 3-5 favorite.
In four other races against better company, Ballingarry’s best finish was a distant third in the Jim Murray Handicap at Hollywood Park nearly four months ago.
A little more than three weeks after finishing ninth over a good course at Saratoga in the Sword Dancer Handicap, a Grade I, Ballingarry returns to California and is the 119-pound highweight in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap.
A Grade II at 1 3/8 miles on the turf, the race attracted nine others, including Charlie Whittingham Handicap runner-up Mister Acpen and the hard-knocking California-bred Continental Red.
Owned and bred by Sharon and Wes Fitzpatrick and trained by Ian Jory, Continental Red, a 7-year-old gelding, will go over $1 million in earnings with a win today. So far, he has earned $924,203 in 51 races.
Race of the day: Aldebaran, who has earned four of his seven wins at seven furlongs, gets that distance in the $250,000 Forego Handicap, a Grade I, at Saratoga.
Jerry Bailey will ride Aldebaran for trainer Bobby Frankel against Gygistar, My Cousin Matt, Proud Citizen, Sing Me Back Home, Mike’s Classic and Najran.
One for the road: Angela’s Love bombed when tried in a stakes at Calder on July 12, but can rebound for trainer Dale Romans in today’s eighth at Saratoga.
The Not For Love filly was impressive in two victories at Churchill Downs and she has demonstrated she doesn’t need the lead to succeed.
She’s also reunited with jockey Cornelio Velasquez, who was aboard for those victories in Kentucky.
Exotically speaking: A pick three singling Laura’s Theme in the third, Timely Action and Green Team in the fourth and all in the fifth at Del Mar.
Winners: Previous day/meet total: 4/81. Money: Previous day/meet total: $26/$462.60. Total money bet: $580.