Dr. Schivel By A Neck Saturday in Grade I Bing Crosby at Del Mar

Dr. Schivel | Benoit Photo

Dr. Schivel © Benoit Photo

Red Baron’s Barn, Rancho Temescal, William Reeves and partners Dr. Schivel, a 3-year-old taking on seven salty older rivals, made the lead in midstretch, then hung extra tough late to capture the 76th running of the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes by a neck Saturday at Del Mar.

The son of Kentucky sire Violence gave his jockey and trainer a unique double in the $301,500, six-furlong dash – back-to-back scores in the shore track’s premier race for sprinters with 3-year-olds, something that’s never happened before. The final time in the dash was 1:10.47.

Flavien Prat, Del Mar’s leading rider, was aboard the colt for his fourth victory of the day. He now has 17 wins in the first nine days of racing and also a remarkable streak in the Crosby: he’s won six of the last seven runnings of the race. Mark Glatt is the trainer of Dr. Schivel and he also was the conditioner of last year’s winner, the then 3-year-old Collusion Illusion.

Finishing second in the Crosby was Coolmore Stud, Madaket Stables or Starlight Racing, et al’s Eight Rings, while running third was the 3-2 race favorite, Madaket Stables, Barber or Kagele’s C Z Rocket.

The race is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event that guarantees the victor an automatic entry into the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint, which will be conducted at six furlongs on November 6 at Del Mar.

Dr. Schivel, who was making only the sixth start of his career, scored his fourth victory and picked up a winner’s check for $180,000 and increased his bankroll to $416,000. The bay youngster had won last year’s Grade I Del Mar Futurity, then was put on the shelf for nine months before coming back to win an allowance race at Santa Anita in June.

Dr. Schivel paid $6.80, $4.00 and $2.60 across the board. Eight Rings returned $10.80 and $4.80, while C Z Rocket paid $2.40 to show.

In the track’s Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot wager, there was a carryover for the seventh day in a row. The pool going into Sunday is now up to $566,809.

The Grade I Clement L. Hirsch heads Sunday’s card. First post for the day is 2 p.m.

FLAVIEN PRAT (Dr. Schivel, winner) – “No special instructions; just ride. He broke well, then when we went across the gap, he grabbed the bit. He was running well, pretty much all the way around. He was game late. Good win.”

MARK GLATT (Dr. Schivel, winner) – “They went fast early, maybe not as fast as we thought. Flavien (Prat) rode him perfectly, gave him a good trip, and the outside post was a benefit. This is a real racehorse. He beat the olders today, and hopefully in November he’ll be able to do it again. (Scratch of Collusion Illusion) He grabbed a quarter training yesterday and he just wasn’t perfect on it today. It probably would have been safe to run him but the ownership group and I thought it was best to err on the conservative side and have him run another day.”

:21.83  :44.67  :57.39  1:10.47

The stake win was the sixth of the meeting for rider Prat and his sixth (of the last seven) in the Bing Crosby. He now has 66 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meeting for trainer Glatt, but his second in the Bing Crosby (Collusion Illusion, 2020). He now has 12 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners are Red Baron’s Barn (Jed Cohen of Encino, CA), Rancho Temescal (Tim Cohen of Piru, CA), William Reeves of Sugar Hill, GA, and partners.


Shedaresthedevil | Benoit Photo

Shedaresthedevil © Benoit Photo


Shedaresthedevil departed Del Mar in September of 2019 after competing in two stakes races for 2-year-old fillies.

The daughter of Daredevil had finished third in the Grade II, $200,000 Sorrento before being switched from dirt to grass for a fourth-place result after setting the pace  in the $100,000 Juvenile Fillies Turf on the closing day of the meeting.

Shedaresthedevil stepped off a van in the stable area of the track Wednesday evening following a journey from Kentucky. And trust Eric Gary, the assistant to trainer Brad Cox who arrived a while earlier, the two years had made a big difference.

“She is one big, mature filly,” said Gary.

Gary, a Louisiana-born, second-generation trainer has only been working for nationally-prominent Cox for a couple months. But with Cox and his son Blake occupied at Saratoga with Essential Quality in Saturday’s $600,000 Jim Dandy, among others, Gary got the call to travel with and saddle Shedaresthedevil for Sunday’s Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar.

Shedaresthedevil, whose five graded stakes victories in 2020-21 include the Grade I 2020 Kentucky Oaks and Grade I 2021 La Troienne, both at Churchill Downs, is the 7-5 morning line favorite for the Hirsh, a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff.

Gary estimated that Shedaresthedevil might “be pushing toward 18” hands in height – nearly 6-feet measured at the withers, or top of the shoulder. He invited a visitor into the stall to stand next to her for verification and it produced no argument.

“She’s very easy going around the barn, but very aggressive when it’s time for training or racing,” Gary said.

Shedaresthedevil won four times and was never out of the money in seven starts in 2020 for earnings of $1,193,070. This year she’s 2-for-3 with wins in the Grade II Azeri at Oaklawn Park in March, the La Troienne in April and a third to Letruska, the current No. 1 rated older filly or mare on dirt, in the Grade I Ogden Phipps on June 5 at Belmont Park.

All three races were at 1 1/16 miles, the same distance as the Hirsch. Because of the huge layout of  Belmont Park, the Phipps was contested around one turn. Connections for Shedaresthedevil are hoping that a return to two turns creates a return to the winner’s circle.

Del Mar will be her fourth track in as many starts this year.

“She travels really well,” Gary said. “We’ve had her out a couple times and she has handled the track really well. I think this race has probably been a part of the plan for her all along. The ultimate goal is the Breeders’ Cup here, so that would figure.”

Shedaresthedevil did her serious training at Ellis Park in Kentucky and got high praise from Cox’s assistant there according to Gary. Race instructions and strategy will be up to Cox and jockey Florent Geroux.

“They’re very close, I know they’re very happy with the way she has trained and they have a plan they’ve already talked about,” Gary said.

The Clement L. Hirsch field from the rail with jockeys and morning line odds in parenthesis: Warren’s Showtime (Juan Hernandez, 8-1); Clockstrikestwelve (Kyle Frey, 30-1); As Time Goes By (Mike Smith, 8-5); Paige Anne (Flavien Prat, 15-1); Cover Version (Abel Cedillo, 30-1); Venetian Harbor (Mario Gutierrez, 2-1) and Shedaresthedevil (Florent Geroux, 7-5).


Building on the success of the current season, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced on Friday purse increases for two significant, upcoming stakes race.

The Grade I, TVG Pacific Classic, the signature event of the summer season, will offer a $1 million purse for its 31st running on August 21. It marks a return to the level established with the inaugural in 1991 after a COVID-triggered reduction to $500,000 in 2020 and an initially determined $750,000 purse this year.

Additionally, the track’s conclusion to its 3-year-old grass series – the Grade II Del Mar Derby on September 4 – has had its purse increased by $50,000, to $250,000, for its 77th running.

“We made people aware before the announcement,” Racing Secretary David Jerkens confirmed. “There’s significant interest from trainers and owners back east and people are weighing their options all over the country.

“How significant the interest is, I don’t really know yet.”

Nominations to the race, which cost $300, close on Thursday, August 12. Supplemental nominations, which cost $7,500, close at the time of entries on Tuesday, August 17.

“It (response) has got to be positive,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club CEO Joe Harper. “There are only so many $1 million races.”

The Pacific Classic being a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic over the same course on November 6, figures to be a factor in the decision-making process for some.


Four stakes that spotlight promising 2-year-olds, the second leg of the series for  3-year-olds and the 69th running of the Yellow Ribbon for older fillies and mares on turf comprise a six-pack of added-money events for the fourth week of the meeting starting Thursday.

The $100,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes, at 5 ½ furlongs for California-bred 2-year-old fillies initiates things on Thursday. From a list of 12 nominations, a field of nine was entered Saturday with Jorge Periban-trained At the Spa significantly coming in off a victory in a $100,000 stakes at Santa Anita in June.

The post position draw was to be held later in the day. The field in alphabetical order with jockeys in parenthesis: At the Spa (Tyler Baze); Carmen Miranda (Giovanni Franco); Drizella (Juan Hernandez); Gianna’s Wild Cat (Jessica Pyfer); Irish Wahine (Abel Cedillo); It’s Simple (Mario Gutierrez); Ko Olina (Edwin Maldonado); Lion’s Lair (Tiago Pereira) and Madiha (Umberto Rispoli).

Friday’s feature is the Grade II, $200,000 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, often a stepping stone to the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Debutante near the end of the meeting. Bob Baffert, a seven-time Sorrento-winning trainer, has three of the 22 nominees.

Saturday card features the $200,000, Grade II Yellow Ribbon and the $200,000 Best Pal. The Yellow Ribbon, at 1 1/16 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course, drew a dozen nominees topped by Simon Callaghan-trained Maxim Rate, winner of the Grade I  Gamely at Santa Anita in May.

The Best Pal, often an identifier of potential for the Grade I, $300,000 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity on closing day of the meeting, has 16 nominations, six of whom have been training outside California.

The week concludes Sunday with the $150,000, Grade III La Jolla, second leg of the series for 3-year-olds, and the $100,000 Graduation Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds.

John Sadler-trained Santa Anita Derby winner Rock Your World is among 15 nominations for the La Jolla, a return to turf racing for the son of Candy Ride after unsuccessful Triple Crown trail runs in the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes.

Fourteen were nominated to the Graduation, among them Luis Mendez-trained Big City Lights, a winner of two starts by a combined 19 ¾ lengths.

CLOSERS – Selected works, courtesy of clocker/handicapper Toby Turrell, from 199 officially timed on Saturday morning: Ce Ce (4f, :48.80); Hudson Ridge (5f, 1:00.80); Magic On Tap (5f, :59.80); Maxim Rate (5f, 1:01.20) and The Great One (5f, 1:01.40).

Heavy favorite Essential Quality gets the job done in Grade 2 Jim Dandy

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Adam Coglianese / NYRA Photo

by NYRA Press Office

In a hard-fought battle to the wire, Essential Quality, the 2-5 favorite, prevailed by a half-length over a tenacious Keepmeinmind to win Saturday’s nine-furlong Grade 2, $600,000 Jim Dandy for 3-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course.

The Godolphin homebred’s victory in the 58th running of the Jim Dandy stamped him as the favorite for Saratoga’s signature race, the Grade 1, $1.25 million Runhappy Travers on August 28. In June, the handsome gray son of Tapit was the decisive winner of the Belmont Stakes presented by NYRA Bets.

Essential Quality, who has been piloted by Luis Saez in seven of his eight career starts, defeated four rivals after the scratch of Risk Taking.

Dr Jack broke sharp from his rail post and was followed by Masqueparade, Weyburn, and Keepmeinmind. Saez had Essential Quality in the clear on the outside in fifth, not far off the leaders. Following sharp fractions of 23.81, 47.41 and 1:11.13 on the fast main track, the pacesetter was retreating while Masqueparade and Weyburn were taking up prominent positions as the field turned for home.

But Essential Quality, with a sweeping outside move, bore down on those rivals, while Keepmeinmind, whose sire Laoban won the 2016 Jim Dandy, was snaking his way up on the rail. It then became a race down to the finish line between those two, with Essential Quality pulling clear in the shadow of the wire, stopping the clock in 1:49.92.

It was a nail-biter for Essential Quality’s trainer, Brad Cox.

“When they straightened up, I thought, ‘Wow we’ve been wide both turns,’ and then we see a horse slip up the inside [No. 4, Keepmeinmind] who looked like he had some run left,” Cox said. “It made for some anxious moments down the lane. Overall, he’s a very determined horse. He has the heart of a champion. He’s a good horse, he stays on.

“There was a lot of ground lost today,” Cox added. “Luis obviously had to work to win. He got something out of it, I do think that. I think he’s carrying a little more weight now than he was leading up to the Derby or Belmont. I think this was a good tightener for him, four weeks out [from the Travers].”

The win marked a second straight and third overall Jim Dandy win for Godolphin, whose royal blue colors scored last year with Mystic Guide as well as with Alpha in 2012. The last time a Jim Dandy winner connected with a victory in the Travers was 2012 when Alpha finished in a dead-heat for the win with Golden Ticket.

Jimmy Bell, president of Godolphin operations in the United States, said, “The really good horses just show up and find a way to get things done and he has seemed to do that every start. Consistency has been his hallmark and it was a battle down the stretch. It was probably good for him, which is easier to say after the race than when they’re at the sixteenth pole.”

For his part, Saez said, he felt confident he was sitting aboard the winner.

“I saw him [No. 4, Keepmeinmind], but I had a lot of horse and I knew he was going to finish,” the meet’s leading rider said. “The plan today was not to take too much away from him. He always fights and he always wants to win.”

Essential Quality returned $2.80 for a $2 win wager.

Masqueparade finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Keepmeinmind, and was followed under the wire by Weyburn and Dr Jack.

The win elevated Essential Quality’s earnings to $3,545,144 and brought last year’s 2-year-old champion’s record to 7-0-0 from eight starts. His lone career loss came in the Kentucky Derby when he crossed the wire in fourth place.

Cross Border uses stretch-drive surge to repeat in G2 Bowling Green

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Three Diamond Farm’s New York-bred Cross Border ran down pacesetter Channel Cat in the stretch and repelled Rockemperor’s late bid for a 1 1/4-length victory to repeat as the winner in Saturday’s Grade 2, $250,000 Bowling Green for 4-year-olds and up going 1 3/8 miles on Saratoga Race Course’s inner turf.

Cross Border tracked in third position as Channel Cat and Channel Maker – who like Cross Border were sired by English Channel – with the opening quarter-mile going in 24.75, the half in 49.37, three-quarters in 1:14.52 and a mile in 1:38.71 over a course rated good.

Under jockey Luis Saez, who won the Grade 2 Jim Dandy on Essential Quality in the prior race, Cross Border was angled out slightly from the rail out of the final turn, challenging Channel Cat when straightened for home before overtaking him in the final furlong. Rockemperor made up ground in the final jumps, but Cross Border hit the wire in 2:16.36 to secure his first win since the Lubash in July of last year at the Spa.

Cross Border improved his Saratoga record to four wins and one second from five starts.

“He loves it here. This is a special horse that I love riding,” Saez said. “He always tries hard. Today, he ran huge. It set up perfect with a good pace. When we came to the top of the stretch, he really gave me that kick and he battled. He always wants to give me everything. It all went according to plan.”

Trained by Mike Maker, Cross Border started his 7-year-old campaign with consecutive third-place finishes in the Grade 1 Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in January at Gulfstream Park followed by the Grade 2 Pan American in March at the same track.

Returning to stakes company after running second in an allowance on June 27 at Belmont Park, Cross Border had to defeat a field that included 2019 Bowling Green-winner Channel Cat and 2018 victor Channel Maker [who dead-heated that year] to secure a second straight win in the contest. Cross Border crossed the wire second in 2020 but was elevated to first when Sadler’s Joy was disqualified for causing interference.

“He’s a model of consistency and durability,” Maker said. “Hopefully, we have another couple of years with him. He’s handled everything. Especially here.”

Bred by Berkshire Stud and B.D. Gibbs, Cross Border went off at 6-1 and returned $14.40 on a $2 win bet. He improved to 10-8-4 in 35 career starts and approached millionaire status with his bankroll at $948,821.

The Grade 1, $750,000 Resorts World Casino Sword Dancer for 4-year-olds could be Cross Border’s next start. The 1 1/2-mile turf contest for 4-year-olds and up is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier to the $4 million Longines Turf in November at Del Mar.

Rockemperor, trained by Chad Brown, bested Shamrocket by one length for second under jockey Joel Rosario. The Irish bred was making his first stakes appearance since running fifth in the Grade 1 Resorts World Casino Manhattan on Belmont Stakes Day June 5.

“He ran really well,” Rosario said. “On the first turn I got a little out of position, but he ran well. The horse who won ran the best.”

Shamrocket, conditioned by Hall of Famer Todd Pletcher and ridden by Irad Ortiz, Jr., rallied from sixth to edge Channel Cat by a head for third.

Red Knight, Moon Over Miami, Channel Maker and Breakpoint completed the order of finish.

Lexitonian outkicks Special Reserve to win G1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt at 34-1

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Chelsea Durand Photo

by Brian Bohl

Calumet Farm homebred Lexitonian dueled Special Reserve from the top of the stretch and kicked away in the final sixteenth as the 34-1 longshot captured Saturday’s Grade 1, $350,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt by a half length at Saratoga Race Course.

The 37th running of the prestigious six-furlong main track sprint for 3-year-olds and up saw Lexitonian capture a graded stakes for the first time since May 2019 and first win overall in 14 months.

Breaking sharp from the inside post under jockey Jose Lezcano, Lexitonian led a loaded nine-horse field that included six graded stakes winners through an opening quarter-mile in 22.04 seconds on the fast track. Special Reserve was then urged up by Joel Rosario, putting a head in front of Lexitonian in recording the half-mile in 44.45.

Out of the turn, Special Reserve maintained a slim lead to the outside that Lexitonian quickly erased, with the rivals running eye-to-eye in the stretch. The duo of golden cap-attired riders each gave their respective horses right-handed encouragement, with Lexitonian gaining the edge from the inside and completing the course in 1:09.38 as the biggest price on the board.

Lexitonian, who ran second in the Grade 1 Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby Day May 1 before finishing sixth and being eased last out in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, won for the first time in seven starts for trainer Jack Sisterson. It was his first graded stakes score since the Grade 3 Chick Lang in May 2019 at Pimlico.

“Growing up, this sport was a passion of mine and now it’s a livelihood,” Sisterson said. “I’m speechless. To be up here on a stage like today and even to compete in a race like this is very humbling.

“I said to Jose he’s a horse who fights. Please get him out of the gate and engage him early,” he added. “I believe if you engage him early, he will feel the pressure and respond to that. At the half-mile pole if he comes off the bridle, perfect. That’s him and he will respond. It’s even better if a horse heads him because he’ll fight on again, which happened. He stuck his head out in front today.”

Lezcano, who like Sisterson won his first Alfred G. Vanderbilt, said the good start was important to keep Lexitonian involved early.

“This horse is a very good horse. He tries hard all the time,” Lezcano said. “He’s the type of horse that needs to be involved and sometimes he doesn’t break all that well and has to stay in the back. He broke well today. Joel tried to get away from me, but when I dropped my hands, he took off again and won the race.”

Lexitonian returned $70 on a $2 win wager. The 5-year-old son of Speightstown improved his career earnings to $687,682.

“I have to give Lexitonian a ton of credit,” Sisterson said. “He ran in the Met Mile and he was eased. You’d think a horse that was eased and thrown in some clunkers, you’d sit back and think let’s drop him down a grade and give him a confidence builder. But I’ve run him in every Grade 1 and been hard on him and this is how he responds today. I have to give credit to Lexitonian.”

Special Reserve, the winner of the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Match Series and the Iowa Sprint in his previous two starts, finished 1 1/4-lengths clear of defending Champion Sprinter Whitmore for runner-up honors.

The Mike Maker trainee has finished first or second in all six starts during his 5-year-old campaign.

“He was comfortable. He liked to be right there,” Rosario said. “It’s a tough beat. I thought we got him and then the other horse to the inside beat me.”

Whitmore, the seven-time graded stakes winner trained by Ron Moquett and ridden by Ricardo Santana, Jr., finished in the money for a fifth consecutive stakes, besting Montauk Traffic by 2 1/4 lengths for third.

“I got a perfect trip. He hadn’t run in a couple of months,” said Whitmore jockey Ricardo Santana, Jr. “He’s a good horse.”

Firenze Fire, Strike Power, Three Technique, 7-5 favorite Mischevious Alex and Miles Ahead completed the order of finish.

Sunday at Saratoga will feature a 10-race card highlighted by the Grade 2, $200,000 Amsterdam for 3-year-olds going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track in Race 9. First post is 1:05 p.m. Eastern.

Emerald Downs Wrap-Saturday, July 31

Missed the Boat dominates in the Saturday feature race


AUBURN, Wash. (July 31, 2021) – Missed the Boat remained razor-sharp with a 4 ¾-length victory over Rate for Me in Saturday’s $10,500 Bud Light Purse for 3-year-olds and up at Emerald Downs.

With Alex Cruz riding his third winner on the card, Missed the Boat ran a mile in 1:36.79 and paid $5.20 as the betting favorite. Kay Cooper is the winning trainer for owner Lyle Conway.

Missed the Boat was in perfect position throughout the race, stalking Cody’s Choice through fractions of :23.22, :46.20 and 1:10.31. The winner powered to the lead into the stretch and drew off to win with complete authority.

Missed the Boat, a 7-year-old Kentucky-bred by Midshipman, is 6-5-4 in 29 career starts with earnings of $58,172. He’s 6 for 16 at Emerald Downs and ran the fastest mile of the mee—1:34.80—while scoring by 9 ½ lengths on July 3.

Rate for Me, the 3 to 1 second choice ridden by Juan Gutierrez, rallied late to edge Cody’s Choice for second, while Cody’s Choice, a 19 to 1 long shot ridden by Joree Scriver, finished third. Rounding out the order of finish were Deepingreen, Christine’ Jack, Pistol Power, Playoff Bound and Remembertobreathe.

NOTES: Total mutuel handle was $1,018,177 on the eight-race card. . .In addition to riding three winners Saturday, Alex Cruz also prevailed in the Emerald Downs Jockeys’ Foot Race between the fifth and sixth races, part of the annual activities to raise money for the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund. . .Julien Couton and Ari Herbertson are 12 for 24 combined at the meet, including a win by Galileta ($6.20) in Saturday’s second race. . .Trainer Kay Cooper had two wins Saturday. . .2018 Washington-bred Plater of the Year Party for One ($5.60) ended a 22-race losing streak with a hard-fought victory over Eddie and the King in Saturday’s fourth race. . .Missed the Boat was claimed for $7,500 Saturday by trainer Ken Person and owner Brent Stapley. . .The $0.20 Jackpot Pick Six carryover is $14,126. . .Live racing continues Sunday with first post 2:30 p.m.


Mario Gutierrez
August 1 – Del Mar

La Deuxieme Etoile Wgt-120 Race 6 Maiden Special Weight
Too Late Wgt-122 Race 8 Allowance Optional Claiming $20,000
Venetian Harbor Wgt-121 Race 9 Clement L. Hirsch S. (Gr 1)
Bellize Wgt-125 Race 10 Maiden Claiming $50,000
August 5 – Del Mar

Mamma Rama Wgt-120 Race 5 Maiden Claiming $20,000
Medusa’s Gaze Wgt-120 Race 5 Maiden Claiming $20,000
It’s Simple Wgt-120 Race 7 California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association S.

July 31 – Del Mar
Full Draw finished 2nd beaten 3 1/4 lengths Race 6 Chart
Acai Scratched (Also-Eligible) Race 7 Chart
Wipe the Slate finished 3rd beaten 5 3/4 lengths Race 8 Chart
Rip City finished 3rd beaten 2 1/4 lengths Race 9 Chart

BloodHorse Daily for Sunday, August 1

Essential Quality turns back Keepmeinmind to win the Jim Dandy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course

Essential Quality Lands Narrow Jim Dandy Score

Departing the outside post in a field of five for the $600,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga Race Course, Essential Quality raced outside rivals throughout and made his move while swinging wide off the turn for home under regular rider Luis Saez.