09/03/2017 8:27PM

Callaghan keeps rolling as Encumbered takes Juvenile Turf

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Benoit & Associates
Encumbered paid $9.40 in winning the Del Mar Juvenile Turf on Sunday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – “Seinfeld” had the summer of George. At Del Mar and Saratoga this year, it has been the Summer of Simon.

Trainer Simon Callaghan has won Grade 1 races at both major meetings, and his good fortune continued Sunday at Del Mar when Encumbered won the $103,105 Del Mar Juvenile Turf. The win puts him on course for an even bigger opportunity two months from now, since the Del Mar Juvenile Turf is at one mile on turf, the exact conditions as the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, which will be run here Nov. 3.

Encumbered ($9.40) overcame a three-wide trip when holding safe favored My Boy Jack to prevail by a half-length. Kazan, also trained by Callaghan, rallied for third in the 14-horse field.

Mario Gutierrez rode Encumbered, and told Callaghan after the race that Encumbered, a colt by the red-hot first-crop sire Violence, was waiting on horses in the lane.

Callaghan said he was worried about the 13 post, but that Gutierrez “got over, gave him a nice ride.”

“You can get hung wide in these big turf fields,” Callaghan said.

Callaghan is in the midst of a big weekend. He won the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante on Saturday with Moonshine Memories, and on Monday will send out Run Away in the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. Last month, he won the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga with American Gal.

“It’s been great,” said Callaghan, who is seventh in the trainers’ standings at Del Mar. “Del Mar is such a competitive meet. Other years we’ve come here thinking we’d have a good meet, but horses get sick, you get bad trips. It’s fun when it works out.”

Encumbered, purchased as a 2-year-old in training by Paul Reddam for $225,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale in April, was fourth in his debut on dirt behind Run Away in the Santa Anita Juvenile, but has won twice on turf since, both during this meet.

Callaghan said Encumbered likely would run in the Zuma Beach Stakes for 2-year-olds on turf at Santa Anita on Oct. 9 as a final prep for the Breeders’ Cup.