08/19/2012 5:39PM

Del Mar: Controversial claiming rule comes into question again


For the second time in the last month, a horse who was claimed was euthanized shortly after being removed from the track on Saturday, leaving questions about the practicality of a new California Horse Racing Board rule that voids the claim of a horse euthanized on the racetrack.

Temerity, claimed for $10,000 by Kirk Robison and trainer Peter Miller, was pulled up at the three-eighths pole of Sunday’s 10th race over 1 1/16 miles. After being loaded on to the van and taken to Miller’s stable, the assessment was made that Temerity could not be saved, Miller said.

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Had Temerity been euthanized on the racetrack, the claim would have been voided.

On Aug. 3, the filly Elivette was claimed for $12,500 and suffered sesamoid injuries during the running of a race. She was transported  from the racetrack to new trainer Doug O’Neill’s stable, where it was determined that she could not be saved.

Steve Rothblum, a bloodstock advisor to O’Neill and the stable manager for Fortuna Ranch Racing, which claimed Elivette, has filed a protest with the racing board, arguing that the claim should have been voided because the filly could not survive her injury. A hearing on the case is scheduled for Wednesday with Del Mar stewards.

O’Neill trained Temerity, having claimed the 6-year-old gelding for $20,000 on July 21.

The racing board’s rule has been the subject of debate in recent months. The Thoroughbred Owners of California recently called for the rule to be suspended until it is modified. Before the rule was implemented, a horse was considered claimed when the gates opened.

Tree of Life targets Del Mar Futurity

Tree of Life is bound for the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 5 after winning his career debut in a maiden special weight race over 5 1/2 furlongs on Saturday.

Trained by Craig Dollase for West Point Thoroughbreds, Tree of Life ($47.60) closed from fifth in a field of 10 and pulled clear in the final furlong to win by 1 1/2 lengths in 1:04.29.

“It’s nice to have a nice 2-year-old prospect in the barn,” Dollase said. “He won really well. He’s a good horse.”

By Lion Heart, Tree of Life was purchased for $70,000 at the Barretts March Sale of 2-year-olds in-training earlier this year.

Jeranimo’s connections confident about Del Mar Mile

The victory by Little Mike in Saturday’s Arlington Million at Arlington Park left owner B.J. Wright and trainer Mike Pender confident about Jeranimo’s chances in Sunday’s $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf.

Jeranimo won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 30, a race in which Little Mike was third.

“Little Mike kind of flattered us,” Pender said. “He destroyed those horses in the Arlington Million.”

Sunday at Del Mar, Jeranimo worked a half-mile in 48 seconds.

“This was his final speed drill, for him to be ready to show that closing kick,” Pender said.

In the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile, Jeranimo will be favored in a field expected to include Calimonco, Mr. Commons, Norvsky, Obviously and Tale of a Champion, a recent Florida import.

In other notable workouts on Sunday, Contested, the winner of the Grade 1 Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park in May, worked six furlongs in 1:09.40, the fastest of 13 recorded works at the distance.

Fifth in the Mother Goose Stakes in her last start at Belmont Park on June 23, Contested is being pointed for the $500,000 Test Stakes at Saratoga on Saturday.