09/05/2017 2:56PM

Baltas basks in warmth of first Del Mar training title

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Benoit & Associates
Madam Dancealot's win in the Grade 2 San Clemente was among the 18 victories for trainer Richard Baltas at the Del Mar meet.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Richard Baltas was beaming Tuesday morning over winning his first training title at Del Mar, one he had to share with Phil D’Amato, who won the final race of the meet to pull into a tie with Baltas at the top of the standings with 18 wins each.

“It’s not like it’s a little meet,” Baltas said. “The Del Mar summer meet – everybody’s watching. I’m happy. We work really hard. Congratulations go out to my staff. They work their butts off.”

Baltas is a major force at all class levels, but he has seen the quality of stock in his care rise exponentially over the past years. He won two stakes this summer, including the Grade 2 San Clemente with Madam Dancealot.

Madam Dancealot is one of a number of European imports finding their way to Baltas’s barn. He recently acquired the 3-year-old colt Radio Silence, who last year at age 2 was second to the top-class Churchill in the Group 2 Futurity at The Curragh. He also recently had horses owned by the Roth family’s LNJ Foxwoods transferred to his barn.

“Better opportunities,” Baltas said. “Getting better horses all the time. Makes my job easier.”