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2018 San Diego Handicap Day


Drayden Van Dyke aboard Catalina Cruiser after winning the 2018 San Diego Handicap.
Date: 07/21/2018

The feature race on Saturday at Del Mar was the $200,000 San Diego Handicap (G2) for older horses at 1 1/16 miles on the main track. Conditions were excellent at the seaside oval with suny skies and temperatures in the mid 70's. After 5 scratches out of the originally drawn field of 10, Catalina Cruiser was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 5, making his stakes debut after winning his first 2 career starts. In to challenge him included 5-2 second choice Dr. Dorr, 9th in the Suburban (G2) after finishing 2nd in the Gold Cup at Santa Anita (G1), and 3-1 third choice Dabster, 5th in the San Carlos (G2).

Catalina Cruiser leads down the stretch in the San Diego Handicap.

Jockey Drayden Van Dyke sent Catalina Cruiser to the front first time by and he set fractions of 23.07, 47.20, and 1:11.64 while pressed by Dr. Dorr and stalked by 6-1 Two Thirty Five. Entering the stretch, Catalina Cruiser left the field in his wake, opening up a 4 length lead through 1 mile in 1:36.52. Kept to task by Van Dyke, Catalina Cruiser drew off to win by 6 lengths over Dr. Dorr. in 1:42.95 over the fast main track. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Dabster third.

Pgm  Horse               Jockey        Win  Place  Show
 1   Catalina Cruiser  Van Dyke       4.60   2.80  2.40
 2   Dr. Dorr          Talamo                3.40  2.60
 9   Dabster           Prat                        2.60

Winning Time:  1:42.95

$1 Exacta 1-2                 6.70
$2 Quinella 1-2               6.80
$0.50 Trifecta 1-2-9          9.20
$0.10 Superfecta 1-2-9-4      2.80
Results Chart

Left: Catalina Cruiser in the winner's circle. Winning trainer John Sadler said, "The nickname of this horse around the barn is 'The best horse nobody's heard of.' Today we changed it to 'the next big thing.' We've loved this horse from day one. He's showed a lot of potential, but we've had to be patient with him. Today he showed us what we thought he could do. We're not going to run two in the Pacific Classic. We're going to run one horse to be determined. We're going to see how (Accelerate and Catalina Cruiser) train over the track and pull up."

Right: Catalina Cruiser in the post parade. Winning jockey Drayden Van Dyke said, "He felt good all the way; nice and relaxed. He's a super talented horse. I knew that right from the beginning. John said 'Just get him comfortable.' He didn't care if I was in front or coming from off it. I figured we'd be in front as long as someone didn't do something stupid. Then he really pulled me into that first turn and he was going easy from there. Big race for him."

Left: Second place finisher Dr. Dorr heads into the paddock. Jockey Joe Talamo said, "My horse tried hard. Hats off to the winner. He ran a huge race."

Right: Third place finisher Dabster in the paddock before the race. Jockey Flavien Prat said, "It was a good race for him. The winner had it all his own way."



War Heroine wins the San Clemente Stakes

The $200,000 San Clemente Stakes (G2) featured a field of 13 three-year-old fillies going 1 mile over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. China Doll Stakes winner Ms Bad Behavior was sent off as the 5-2 favorite off her 2nd place finish in the Providencia (G3). In to challenge her included 5-1 second choice Ollie's Candy, winner the Summertime Oaks (G2), and 6-1 third choice War Heroine, an allowance winner last out.

Jockey Tyler Baze sent War Heroine to the front through fractions of 22.85, 46.86, and 1:10.67 over the firm going while pressed by Ms Bad Behavior and stalked by 13-2 Miss Sienna. Entering the stretch, War Heroine continued to lead through 7f in 1:22.56. Ollie's Candy, 8th early under Corey Nakatani, came out 5 wide into the lane and rallied well but War Heroine held her off to win by a neck in 1:34.90. It was another neck back to Ms Bad Behavior third.

Results Chart

Left: War Heroine in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Peter Miller said, "She reminds me a lot of Belvoir Bay; small but mighty. She's got a big heart and a lot of speed. I didn't think we'd be on the lead and I told Tyler she doesn't need to be, but if they give it to you take it. He rode a super race, got reasonable fractions and she really kicked home strong. I see no reason not to try her in the Del Mar Oaks. I think that's the move and that's what we'll do."

Right: War Heroine in the paddock. Winning jockey Tyler Baze said, "She's an extremely fast filly; extremely fast. But it isn't so much about the speed, it's about how they're expanding their energy. She was doing it well today. I knew she was good for a mile; she's all heart. She loves to stick her neck out and win. She's tough."

Left: Second place finisher Ollie's Candy in the post parade. Jockey Corey Nakatani said, "An awesome race for her. This was good education for her today. They got her right now. She'll be ready for the (Del Mar) Oaks now."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Ms Bad Behavior in the paddock. Jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "Good trip inside saving lots of ground. She responded well. This was her first time back in a while (three and a half months). She'll be plenty ready now for the (Del Mar) Oaks."

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