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Sarafan Back in Favorite Spot

In 41 starts at tracks other than Del Mar, Sarafan has four wins.

The 8-year-old Lear Fan gelding obviously enjoys the sea air because he has that many victories in only six races at Del Mar.

Owned by Gary Tanaka and trained by Neil Drysdale, Sarafan will try for another Del Mar victory when he goes for his second consecutive win in the $75,000 Escondido Handicap today.

Since his win as the favorite in last year’s Escondido, a restricted race at 1 3/8 miles on the grass, Sarafan is winless. The best he has done in five subsequent outings is three runner-up finishes, including a three-quarters of a length loss to the ill-fated Star Over The Bay in the Clement Hirsch, a Grade I stakes, last fall at Santa Anita.

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Seventh and sixth in a pair of races at Hollywood Park this spring, Sarafan will be ridden for the first time by Garrett Gomez as he opposes Outta Here, Laura’s Lucky Boy, Continental Red, Qsar, Pellegrino, with whom he will be coupled in the wagering, Sanderman, Sleepless Joy and Balustrade. None of the others has won a race over the Del Mar turf course.

Race of the day: Galloping Grocer, who hasn’t run since he finished 13th in the Preakness on May 21, will be seeking his fourth win in 10 starts when he faces six other New York-breds in the $250,000 Cab Calloway at Saratoga. John Velazquez will ride the A.P. Jet gelding for owners Bernice Waldbaum and Robert Rosenthal and trainer Dominick Schettino in the 1 1/8 -mile race.

One for the road: Proveyourlove adds blinkers for trainer Dale Romans for his second start after disappointing as the 9-5 favorite in his July 3 debut at Churchill Downs and should improve in today’s third at Saratoga. Robby Albarado will ride the 2-year-old Not For Love colt for owners Frank Jones Jr. in the $45,000 maiden race at five furlongs. At least two horses who finished directly in front of Proveyourlove have won races.

Exotically speaking: A pick four using Really Suspect, Flying Fugitive and Haint You Grand in the fifth, Keepmeinyourheart in the sixth, Laura’s Lucky Boy, the Sarafan entry and Sleepless Joy in the seventh and Kate’s Hope and Rusty Nail in the eighth.

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Winners: Previous day/meet total: 3/36. Money: Previous day/meet total: $16.20/$218.20. Total money bet: $208.


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