09/05/2011 5:10PM

Del Mar: Banned to stay in California for now

Benoit & Associates
Banned, with Garrett Gomez riding, wins the Del Mar Derby.

DEL MAR, Calif. - The well-traveled Banned, who won the Del Mar Derby on Sunday in his first start in California, will remain in California for an upcoming race at Santa Anita's fall meeting. His trainer, Tom Proctor, said the Oak Tree Derby would be next, followed by a deserved vacation.

"I want to keep him out here, then give him a little time after the Oak Tree Derby," Proctor said. "I'm looking for him to mature this winter. Maybe sending him home and getting some grass in him will be the best thing for him."

Banned raced in Kentucky, Virginia, and Illinois this year before coming to California. Last year, he finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf, then was off for more than five months over the winter. Proctor said he has no plans to run in the Breeders' Cup this year.

In the Del Mar Derby, Banned had to fight every inch of the stretch to outfinish a stubborn Midnight Interlude and win by a nose. He was coming back just three weeks after finishing third in the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington.

"That might not have been his best race," Proctor said of the Del Mar Derby. "He had to ship out here and then run."

Proctor also has several promising 2-year-old fillies here, including Customer Base, who defeated maidens in an eye-catching debut on Saturday, and Emerald Gold, a troubled third in the Del Mar Debutante on Saturday.

"I've got a filly I'm going to run next weekend," Proctor said, referring to Struck It Lucky, a recent maiden winner at Arlington who runs in the Arlington-Washington Lassie, "and then I'll decide what to do. I might keep them here, I might leave for the Alcibiades at Keeneland. A lot will depend on what happens next weekend."