08/08/2010 10:41PM

Quick notes to wrap up the Del Mar weekend


A couple quick notes to wrap up the Del Mar weekend …

California has been waiting for a good 2-year-old, and wouldn’t you know it? He has been right in front of our eyes. J P’s Gusto, already a two-time stakes winner, won his third straight Sunday with a half-length win in the Grade 2 Best Pal. Speed handicappers will approve. J P’s Gusto raced six and a half furlongs in a quick 1:16.61.

A sad note: The top turf mare Tuscan Evening died from an apparent heart attack Sunday. She was a good one. Tuscan Evening arrived from Europe as a maiden, and won 12 of 16 U.S. starts for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. During the winter meet at Santa Anita, she won four stakes from six and a half furlongs, to a mile and one-quarter.

Tuscan Evening had speed, but also could finish. When the Beverly D is run Aug. 21 at Arlington, it won’t be quite the same race it would have been with Tuscan Evening setting the pace.

Just when it looked like Joel Rosario would dominate the Del Mar jockey standings, along comes Rafael Bejarano to make it a race. Bejarano won eight during the week, and will enter the Wednesday card only two behind Rosario (21-19).

Speaking of Wednesday, a pick six carryover of $178,834 is up for grabs on race 3-8.

Decision time for pick six bettors: do you single Northern California shipper Goggles McCoy in race 7, or try to get clever and single Stroppy in race 3?

What are you waiting for? It is time to start handicapping the Wednesday card.

mrmexico70 More than 1 year ago
I think that Pat Valenzuela rode the race perfectly. At six and one-half furlongs, you have to be on the front end or close (to the front end). But I still think, and I agree with Russell, Sway Away is still green and did not change leads until the last yards. Also, the longer the better for Sway Away.
russell More than 1 year ago
I think J P's Gusto was a lucky winner. Lucky that Sway Away seemed to shy away when approaching close to his rear and raced greenly. J P has a lot to prove yet and his style Sunday suggests he will not be happy with longer distances.
datrack More than 1 year ago
I too am sad to hear about Tuscan Evening's passing. What a great athlete she was. She will be missed by all of her fans. My condolences to her connections.
GunBow More than 1 year ago
Tuscan Evening's death has shaken me as much as any equine death in recent years. I had seen her in person win the Las Palmas, Monrovia, Buena Vista, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, and Gamely. Her amazing gameness really endeared me to her. I'm thinking Hollywood Park should rename the Redondo Beach Stakes in her honor given that was the first of 9 stakes Tuscan Evening won in her career(8 graded). Jerry Hollendorfer, Dan Ward, William de Burgh and the entire team must be crushed, simply crushed. It was easy to see they had a real fondness for her.