08/21/2013 2:15PM

Del Mar: CTT and TOC Handicap distance deciding factor for Topic

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Topic will run in the 1 3/8-mile CTT and TOC Handicap instead of the 1 1/8-mile Del Mar Oaks.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – The longer, the better, it seems for the turf filly Topic. Winless in five races at distances ranging from 6 1/2 furlongs to 1 1/8 miles, she finally broke through with a victory against maidens going 1 3/16 miles, then stretched out to 1 1/4 miles and was a good third last time out in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Topic will get a chance to go even farther on Friday at Del Mar, 1 3/8 miles, in a race whose name takes almost as much time to say as it will take the race to be run – the $90,000 California Thoroughbred Trainers and Thoroughbred Owners of California Handicap, for fillies and mares on turf.

Trainer Neil Drysdale preffered the CTT and TOC to the nine-furlong Del Mar Oaks for Topic not only because it afforded her more time between starts, but because she seems to have thrived as the distances of her races have increased.

“We were basically looking at the distance, because this course seems quite a bit speed-oriented,” Drysdale said. “I think a mile and three-eighths will suit her more than nine furlongs.”

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

Topic gets a bit of class relief, having chased home stakes winners Emollient and Emotional Kitten last time out in the American Oaks.

“Her race in the American Oaks was very good,” Drysdale said.

Eleven were entered in the race, including one also-eligible. The CTT and TOC is the sixth race on an abbreviated seven-race card that begins at 4 p.m. Pacific.

The biggest challenger to Topic could be Midnight Music, who has been pointed to this race by trainer Tom Proctor since arriving from Kentucky. Midnight Music was second to the Proctor-trained Customer Base in her West Coast debut in the 1 1/4-mile Lucie Manet at Hollywood Park on July 5.

“We brought her out here with that last race in mind and this race,” Proctor said Wednesday morning. “She just kind of goes one paced.”

Proctor said this could be the final start for Midnight Music, since she is in foal to the stallion Lonhro.

Miss Pippa was third to Midnight Music in the Lucie Manet and followed that up with a second-place finish going a mile here Aug. 4 in a prep for the CTT and TOC.

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La Zubia was fourth in that Aug. 4 allowance and also should benefit by the extra distance.

John Sadler, who trains Miss Pippa, also sends out I Dazzle, who was a fast-finishing third in the Osunitas on July 20.

Good Karma comes off a victory in the Luther Burbank at Santa Rosa, and though she has never raced on Del Mar’s turf, she arrives with a record of seven wins from 17 tries.