Apprentice jockey Martin Garcia, who finished third in the standings at Hollywood Park and is considered by some a threat to win the riding title at Del Mar, could earn his first stakes win by the beach today in the $125,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association Stakes.
Garcia will ride Ces't Mark in the 5 1/2 -furlong race for 2-year-old fillies bred in California, and the Jose Silva owned and trained daughter of Benchmark will be hard to beat if she runs back to her maiden win on June 4 in Inglewood.
The 2-1 betting favorite that day against eight opponents, Ces't Mark won by 8 1/4 lengths under Garcia in 58 seconds for the five furlongs.
She led throughout in that victory but showed in her first start a month earlier that she could come from behind. She finished fourth, beaten by half a length, after dropping 3 1/2 lengths off the lead early in the race.
Sharoana, a daughter of Lord Carson, could be the one to beat in the CTBA.
Owned by a partnership and trained by Jeff Bonde, Sharoana has won two of four, including a wire-to-wire victory in a minor stakes at Pleasanton on July 2. She will be ridden by Roberto Gonzalez as Bonde seeks his third consecutive victory in this race.
He won with Sterling Cat in 2004 and Devons Smokin last year.
Race of the day: Mr. Mabee, who has been first or second in four of seven on the turf, will make his first start on the Ellis Park grass in the eighth race at the Henderson, Ky., track. Corey Lanerie will ride the 5-year-old Storm Cat horse for owner William Stirlitz and trainer Terry Gestes in the $23,500 optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles.
One for the road: Evrybody'sfavorite goes first off the claim for trainer Tom Amoss and could be a single in the late pick four at Arlington. James Graham will be the rider on the 3-year-old Favorite Trick gelding for owner Temple Weber Jr. in the $33,000 optional claimer at six furlongs that is the seventh race on the program. Evrybody'sfavorite has won two of four and, in recent months, Amoss horses are winning at about a 24% clip in first races after a claim.
Exotically speaking: Early doubles using Cryptoria Ridge, Big River Ruler and Downtown Victory in the first to Cotorra in the second.
Winners: (previous day/meet total): 2/4. Money: (previous day/meet total): $6.80/$18. Total money bet: $34.