Updated on 09/18/2011 12:44AM

Da Stoops formidable vs. Cal-breds


DEL MAR, Calif. - When racing against California-breds, Da Stoops can do just about anything. In his 12-race career, Da Stoops has won four of seven starts against statebreds, including three stakes.

It is that record that will make Da Stoops a heavy favorite in Friday's $100,000 Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar.

is one of five 3-year-olds entered in the seven-furlong Real Good Deal. None of the other four runners is a stakes winner, though Bold Chieftain and Seven Nation Army have placed in stakes.

Da Stoops is trained by Bob Baffert. By Distorted Humor, Da Stoops has won four of 12 starts and $501,950, and has been effective from 5 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles.

Against open company, Da Stoops is winless in five starts, but he has not been embarrassed in those performances. This year, he has been second in the Pedro Stakes and third in the Baldwin Stakes at Santa Anita, and third in the Grade 2 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park.

In the Dwyer on July 4, Da Stoops was near the front to early stretch and faded to lose by 13 1/2 lengths. Strong Contender won the race by 7 3/4 lengths.

"That was a disappointing race," Baffert said. "The track was deep. He didn't like that track.

I don't think anyone did other than Strong Contender."

In the Real Good Deal, Da Stoops is likely to track pacesetter , who is making his stakes debut following a third in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on July 8.

The race marks the first stakes start as a 3-year-old for Seven Nation Army, who was a troubled second in an optional claimer here on July 23. He won a maiden race last September, and was later third in the Barretts Juvenile at Fairplex Park.

Bold Chieftain is making his first start since finishing third in the Grade 3 El Camino Real Derby at Bay Meadows last January. Trained by Bill Morey, Bold Chieftain has won two of four starts, with the wins coming last fall in northern California.

"He had a little shin [problem]," Morey said. "We decided to give him some time off."

Morey is unsure how will handle seven furlongs in his first race in more than six months.

"We don't have any other choice," Morey said. "Is he ready to run? Yes. Is he ready to win? That's the question."