10/30/2017 2:06PM

Ample Sufficiency finding success in California

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DEL MAR, Calif. – More than two years have passed since Ample Sufficiency ran in a stakes, finishing fifth as a maiden in the Grade 2 Beresford Stakes in Ireland in September 2015.

Much has changed for the 4-year-old colt since then.

Ample Sufficiency was transferred from trainer Dermot Weld in Ireland to Dan Blacker in California. In his new stable, Ample Sufficiency has won two of four starts, leading to his American stakes debut in the $75,000 Lure Stakes at Del Mar on Thursday.

“I think very highly of the horse,” Blacker said. “I’ve thought he could be a stakes horse.”

Ample Sufficiency is part of a field of 10 and one of two runners with a win in his last start. Ample Sufficiency won a first level allowance with a $40,000 claiming option at Santa Anita on Oct. 14. A Red Tie Day, who was third in the Lure Stakes at Santa Anita in 2016, won a $32,000 claimer at a mile on turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 8.

The Lure Stakes is restricted to horses that have not won a first-place purse of $60,000 in a stakes other than in a statebred race at a mile or more since July 1.

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KEY CONTENDERS

Ample Sufficiency, by English Channel
Last 3 Beyers: 91-87-83

◗ Owned by breeder Calumet Farm, Ample Sufficiency beat maidens at 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 22 in his second start in this country, and won the optional claimer on Oct. 14 by closing from sixth in a field of 10 to win by three-quarters of a length.

“He came out of his race in good shape,” Blacker said.

◗ Ample Sufficiency tends to run from off the pace, which lessens Blacker’s concern about an inside draw. Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens rode Ample Sufficiency on Oct. 14 and retains the mount.

“I’ve got a rider who has been around there a few times,” Blacker said.

Moonlight Drive, by Red Rocks
Last 3 Beyers: 86-95-89

◗ Moonlight Drive has run well at Del Mar, finishing second in the restricted Oceanside Stakes and third in the Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap in summer 2016. Moonlight Drive has not started since finishing fifth in the Clocker’s Corner Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita last January.

“We gave him time off,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “We thought it would be a good spot to bring him back. He looks healthy and he looks good.”

Cistron, by The Factor
Last 3 Beyers: 87-51-86

◗ Cistron was scratched from the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita last Saturday. Trained by John Sadler, Cistron was third in the Obviously Mile at Santa Anita on Oct. 7.

◗ A stakes winner on dirt earlier this year, Cistron is likely to race near the pace along with Forever Juanito, who was fourth in the Eddie D Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita on Sept. 29.