Closing Weekend at Del Mar
From Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
The stakes barn was a bustling place Thursday morning as the result of an influx of horses from New York which arrived Tuesday and, having settled in, are all being prepared for the Grade I events on the upcoming closing weekend.
Chad Brown, the No. 1 trainer in North America by earnings, with nearly $22.6 million in purses, sent six horses — three for Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Hollywood Derby and three for Sunday’s Grade I $300,000 Matriarch and an equal number of handlers.
Traveling on the same plane were Shug McGaughey-trained Revved Up for the Derby and James Toner’s Time and Motion for the Matriarch.
Brown’s six are comprised of Hollywood Derby entrants Beach Patrol, Camelot Kitten and Annals of Time, plus Mexican Gold, Roca Rojo and Zindaya for the Matriarch.
Combined, Brown’s group for the Hollywood Derby, at 1 1/8 miles on the turf for 3-year-olds, has five graded stakes victories in 2016. Beach Patrol won the Grade I Secretariat, on the Arlington Million Day card, and was in the midst of a 1-2-3 finish for Brown charges, Camelot Kitten winning and Annals of Time third, in the Grade III Hill Prince on October 8 at Belmont Park in their last outings.
The Matriarch trio is led by Zindaya, who won the Grade II Goldikova Stakes on November 6 at Santa Anita, shipped back to New York to train, and has returned for the Matriarch, a one-mile race for fillies and mares three-years-old and up.
“Everything went well, all the horses shipped in nicely,” said Cherie DeVaux, Brown’s assistant who will be in charge on site while Brown remains in New York. “They’ve all been in good form all year and have trained well before coming out here. Hopefully that maintains into the races.
“Beach Patrol and Camelot Kitten are obviously the more accomplished of the three, but Annals of Time has been developing into a really nice horse. They all deserve to be respected. It’s the same in the Matriarch, three really nice fillies that have been running well and training very well.”
Three New York-based riders that rank in the Top Five for North American purse earnings are traveling to pilot Brown’s horses. Javier Castellano, the No. 1 jockey in North America for purse earnings with $26.1 million, will ride Annals of Time and Zindaya. Irad Ortiz, Jr., (No. 2, $22.3 million) will be on Camelot Kitten and Mexican Gold. Florent Geroux (No. 5, $16.8 million) has Beach Patrol and Roca Rojo.
John Velazquez (No. 4, $18.1 million) is also out from New York to ride Isotherm for trainer George Weaver in the Derby and Time and Motion in the Matriarch for James Toner.
The Hollywood Derby field from the rail: Beach Patrol (Florent Geroux, 9-2), Camelot Kitten (Irad Ortiz, Jr., 7-2), Frank Conversation (Mario Gutierrez, 8-1), Diplodocus (Kent Desormeaux, 20-1), Free Rose (Norberto Arroyo, Jr., 5-1), Isotherm (John Velazquez, 12-1), Blackjackcat (Mike Smith, 8-1), Hayabusa One (Victor Espinoza, 6-1), Revved Up (Drayden Van Dyke, 20-1), Defiantly (Gary Stevens, 30-1), Annals of Time (Javier Castellano, 6-1) and Path of David (Joe Talamo, 30-1).