Updated on 09/15/2011 12:41PM

$100K price tag no object for horsemen


DEL MAR, Calif. - The most popular horse at Del Mar on Thursday was a 6-year-old on a four-race losing streak who has never won a stakes.

Quianlong won the seventh race, an allowance race on turf, as the second choice in the betting and was the subject of five $100,000 claims. When the random draw was completed to determine the new owner, trainer Bob Hess Jr. and owner Jay Manoogian had a new member in their stable. Trainers Craig Dollase, Peter Eurton, Dean Greenman, and John Sadler walked away disappointed.

The $100,000 claim equaled a Del Mar record that had occurred four times in the last 15 years. The most recent was Onceinabluemamoon, who later won the Las Palmas Handicap at Santa Anita.

Hess and Manoogian, a real estate developer from Orange County, have stakes in mind for Quianlong, who was previously trained by Bobby Frankel. Hess said Quianlong will be pointed for the $75,000 Harry Brubaker Handicap on Aug. 17, which may lead to a start in the $200,000 Kentucky Cup Mile at Kentucky Downs on Sept. 23.

"He's the sort we could do better with out of town," Hess said.

In Thursday's race, Quianlong ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.60, winning by a head over Japanese import Fusaichi Zenon. Quianlong, ridden by Laffit Pincay Jr., saved ground on the final turn and took the lead in the final strides.

The runner-up finish was not a disappointment for Neil Drysdale, Fusaichi Zenon's trainer. A 4-year-old by 1989 Horse of the Year Sunday Silence, Fusaichi Zenon finished in the middle of the track and looked like a winner late after passing pacesetter L'Effaceur in the final sixteenth.

"He can only improve off that," Drysdale said. "He was a bit unlucky. He got the measure of that other horse, but couldn't see the other one."

Drysdale said Fusaichi Zenon may be considered for the Arlington Million on Aug. 18.

Caller One targets Vosburgh

Caller One, second to Kona Gold in the Bing Crosby Breeders' Cup Handicap on July 22, will make his next start in the $300,000 Vosburgh Stakes over seven furlongs at Belmont Park on Sept. 22, trainer Jim Chapman said.

It will be his only race before the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Belmont on Oct. 27.

"I wish it were six furlongs and not seven, but with the extra distance I won't have to train him as hard for the Breeders' Cup," Chapman said.

Chapman said that Expected Program, the winner of two stakes for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park earlier this year, will pass the Best Pal Stakes in favor of the $100,000 Barretts Juvenile at Fairplex Park on Sept. 16. Expected Program missed the Hollywood Juvenile on July 15 because of a foot injury. "It took a while to get that foot right," Chapman said.

Teenage announcer will call English stakes

Jonathan Horowitz, a 16-year-old who has called races at five tracks in the U.S., is having a memorable summer.

Earlier this month, he completed a two-week internship on broadcast journalism at CNN in Atlanta. Thursday, he passed his driving test.

This week, Horowitz will add another track to his resume when he calls Thursday's Oak Tree Stakes at Goodwood, England.

In the last year, Horowitz has called races at Turf Paradise, Lone Star Park, Los Alamitos, Santa Anita, and Canterbury Park, where he recently called four races.

"It went very well," Horowitz said. "There were big fields and horses I'd never seen before. It was a great experience."

Horowitz and his family visited Goodwood two years ago, where he met English announcer Simon Holt, who was instrumental in giving the young announcer a chance to call Thursday's race. The seven-furlong race is named after the Oak Tree Racing Association, which operates the fall meeting at Santa Anita.

"I'll go a day before and familiarize myself with conditions, calling off a monitor," he said. "Goodwood is a pretty big racecourse."

When he returns Horowitz will be just weeks away from the start of his junior year at University High in Irvine Calif.

Workout too fast to suit Baffert

Ecstatic, a two-length maiden winner in his career debut on July 18, worked a half-mile in 45.80 seconds on Friday, the fastest of 47 works at the distance.

"He went way too fast," trainer Bob Baffert said. "He came back good and that's what mattered."

Baffert said the workout puts Ecstatic on course for the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 15. He will run as an entry with Officer, the winner of the Graduation Stakes last Wednesday, because both are owned by Ahmed Salman's The Thoroughbred Corp.

Astra on target for Beverly D

Astra, who won Santa Barbara and Beverly Hills handicaps earlier this year, remains on schedule for the $700,000 Beverly D Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 18.

"Astra is doing great," trainer Simon Bray said Friday after she galloped. "I wouldn't trade places with anybody. I wish the race was next week."

Bray said Astra will be joined on the trip by Startac, who has not started since he finished 10th in the Kentucky Derby. Startac will start in the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds on turf.