09/03/2009 12:00AM

Barba hears some sweet music

Benoit & Associates
Camille C (right) wins the Generous Portion with Rafael Bejarano aboard on Wednesday.

DEL MAR, Calif. - There were times on Thursday morning when the 2-year-old colt Make Music for Me walked politely next to trainer Alexis Barba around the toe ring on the Del Mar backstretch. There were other times when the colt wanted to jump around playfully.

The latter behavior more closely resembled Barba's mood in advance of Make Music for Me's start in Monday's $300,000 Del Mar Futurity.

"I'm pretty excited," she said. "I've got to stay normal."

Owned by Ellen and Peter Johnson, Make Music for Me will make his third start in the Grade 1 Futurity, which is run over seven furlongs. He will start as a maiden, having finished fourth in his debut against maidens at Hollywood Park on July 5 and second to Lookin at Lucky in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar on Aug. 9.

Make Music for Me was 15-1 in the Best Pal, and closed from fifth to finish three-quarters of a length behind Lookin at Lucky.

"He's a really nice horse, but I think I knew that when I put him in there," she said. "He's always acted talented."

Barba said she has no concern about starting a maiden in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity.

"We're all in the same boat," she said. "No one has any experience."

Make Music for Me arrived from Santa Anita on Thursday morning, a day earlier than Barba initially planned. The warm, humid air at Del Mar beat the hot, smoky conditions at Santa Anita, she said. A massive wildfire, which has consumed more than 150,000 acres, is burning in the mountain range above Santa Anita.

"It got a little too smoky," Barba said. "The air was pretty dank."

The Del Mar Futurity may have only six starters. Lions Story, who won a six-furlong maiden race on Aug. 1 and was being pointed to the race, has been taken out of training with sore shins, according to Dan Ward, assistant trainer to Jerry Hollendorfer. Lions Story will be given a 60-day break.

Aside from Make Music for Me, the probable starters include Lookin at Lucky, Hurricane Ike, Marcello, Smiling Tiger, and Sterling Outlook.

Brother act takes stakes

With two leading rivals defecting to Saturday's $300,000 Darley Debutante, Camille C gave the Polanco family its first stakes victory as a team in Wednesday's $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar

One brother, Carlos, owns Camille C. Another, Marcelo, is the trainer. Yet another, Luis, works for Marcelo at the stable.

Camille C beat four statebred 2-year-old fillies in the Generous Portion, leading throughout the six-furlong race to win by 1 1/4 lengths under jockey Rafael Bejarano. Camille C ($12.20) was timed in 1:10.50.

Marcelo Polanco said the filly will be considered for the $100,000 California Cup Juvenile Fillies over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Oct. 3.

Camille C's chances were helped when Repo and La Nez did not start. They are both entered for the Grade 1 Darley Debutante.

Camille C has won 2 of 5 starts and $118,520. She was purchased for a mere $4,200 at the Barretts January mixed sale earlier this year.

The Generous Portion Stakes was Bejarano's first stakes win since returning on Aug. 28 from a five-week break caused by facial injuries. He wore a protective mask for the first few days of his comeback, but not on Wednesday.

"I might wear it again on occasion, but I don't think I need it so much," he said. "It's too hot now for it anyway."

Bejarano was the leading rider for six consecutive major meetings in Southern California from the 2007-08 winter-spring meeting at Santa Anita through the same meeting earlier this year.