DM horses vie for championship titles


By Kelley Carlson

Staff Writer

Del Mar will be well represented at this year’s Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.

A number of horses who won stakes or made appearances at the track are expected to compete in the event, set for Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia.

Among them is the undefeated mare Zenyatta, who will be one of the headliners. A two-time winner of Del Mar’s Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, Zenyatta will either contend the Breeders’ Cup Classic or Ladies’ Classic. A decision had not been made as of press time.

If Zenyatta enters the Classic, she will be facing the boys for the first time. Her competitors are likely to include several horses from the Pacific Classic, such as winner Richard’s Kid, Colonel John, Einstein and Awesome Gem. Gio Ponti, who was runner-up in last year’s Del Mar Derby and has emerged as one of the nation’s top older turf horses this year, also is likely to contest the Classic, which is run on the Pro-Ride synthetic surface.

In addition, the race is expected to draw Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, Belmont Stakes winner Summer Bird and European stars such as Rip Van Winkle and Mastercraftsman.

Zenyatta is the reigning champion of the Ladies’ Classic. Should she run in this year’s edition, one of her rivals will be stablemate Life Is Sweet, owned by Mary and Pam Wygod of Rancho Santa Fe.

The two horses have faced off several times this year, including in the Hirsch, in which Life Is Sweet was fourth. Other runners from the Hirsch who could run in the Ladies’ Classic include Anabaa’s Creation, who nearly defeated Zenyatta, and Lethal Heat, who may become the first horse to run in two Breeders’ Cup races in the same year with a start in the Turf Sprint.

Another possible Ladies’ Classic entrant is 2-year-old filly champion Stardom Bound, who won last year’s Del Mar Debutante. Now a 3-year-old, she has been on the sidelines since spring and is reportedly training up to the Ladies’ Classic.

Here is a list of some other possible Breeders’ Cup contenders who have made appearances at the seaside oval:

  • Filly & Mare Turf: Magical Fantasy, Rutherienne, Visit, Well Monied
  • Juvenile Fillies: Always a Princess, Blind Luck, It Tiz, La Nez
  • Filly & Mare Sprint: Carlsbad, Evita Argentina
  • Marathon: Black Astor
  • Turf: Battle of Hastings, Spring House
  • Sprint: Cost of Freedom, Delta Storm, Ez Dreamer, Zensational
  • Juvenile: Dave In Dixie, Gallant Gent, Lookin At Lucky, Pulsion
  • Dirt Mile: Cherokee Artist, Chocolate Candy (owned by Jenny Craig of Del Mar), Crown of Thorns, El Gato Malo, Mast Track, Midshipman, Misremembered
  • Mile: Ferneley, Monterey Jazz, Whatsthescript
  • Turf Sprint: California Flag, Gotta Have Her, Noble Court

The Breeders’ Cup will be televised from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 6 on ESPN2, 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 7 on ABC and 12:30 to 4 p.m. Nov. 7 on ESPN.