08/26/2012 7:57PM

Del Mar: Former sprinter Obviously sets course record winning Del Mar Mile

Benoit & Associates
Obviously, ridden by Joe Talamo, sets a course record by running the Del Mar Mile in 1:32.10.

DEL MAR, Calif.- A simple career change this summer turned Obviously  from a struggling turf sprinter into a record-setting graded stakes winner.

“All we did is route him,” trainer Mike Mitchell said.

Sunday at Del Mar, Obviously, a 4-year-old gelding, won his second consecutive race over a mile on turf in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile. He led throughout and set a course record of 1:32.10, edging the previous mark of 1:32.21 set by Three Valleys in 2005.

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The distinction of new record holder nearly went to Mr. Commons.

Obviously ($4.20) led by as many as five lengths halfway through the race, but was fully extended under jockey Joe Talamo to hold off Mr. Commons, who finished second by a nose. Jeranimo, the 5-2 second choice, was last on the turn and closed through the stretch to finish third.

Obviously set fractions of 22.64 and 45.45 seconds and led by four lengths with a quarter-mile remaining.

 “Joe knows the horse,” Mitchell said. “He felt like he needed to open up.”

Obviously’s lead was only 3 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and dwindled steadily in the final sixteenth.

“I needed a little more ground,” said jockey Brice Blanc, who rode Mr. Commons. “The winner didn’t give anything away.”

Jeranimo was a disappointment, considering he had won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park in June. He was beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Obviously.

“He didn’t fire his best race today,” trainer Mike Pender said. “Our goal is the Breeders’ Cup” Mile.

Obviously, an Irish-bred by Choisir, began his career in Ireland, where he won minor races in July and October of 2011. Never worse than third in six starts in California for Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Obviously has won 5 of 10 starts and $270,361. He made his first start for Mitchell at Santa Anita in March


Jerome Moynihan More than 1 year ago
OBVIOUSLY is just getting good,we're going to see more good races from him. he "obviously" loves to run,and that's all you can ask of any horse.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
Obviously has done some downright freakish things these last 2 races. You know you watched a quality race when a horse sets a course record and it needed every tick of it just to win. Obviously, pun intended, I would like to see Obviously replicate this form away from Del Mar, most notably at Santa Anita; his last two performances have put him squarely in the BC Mile discussion. Second, I am interested in seeing how Obviously would respond if he has to deal with a horse on his flank. Now, this might be moot because there are not a whole bunch of turf milers that want to go out there and run 6 furlongs in 1:08 and change. Obviously is not getting uncontested leads and then backing things up. Rather, he is creating uncontested leads by running nearly insane early fractions. He's simply running the other horses off their feet early. So, what turf milers are out there that can stay with Obviously early? Little Mike is one, although now it's not certain he will be pointed towards the BC Mile. There's Get Stormy, but that guy doesn't have Obviously's early speed. My gut feeling is that if Obviously has to run these same fractions with a horse lapped on or near him, he will be much more weakened come the stretch run. Just the mental pressure of having another horse in close proximity can really change things. Again, though, what horse can run with Obviously early, aside from a rabbit? A few sentences on Mr. Commons. I have been critical of Mr. Commons. Naturally, I believed the criticism to be valid. However, to the horse's credit, and Sherriffs' training in putting blinkers on him, Mr. Commons turned in an absolutely fantastic performance in the Del Mar Mile. Although Obviously was running uncontested, Mr. Commons was still able to make up about 4 lengths in the stretch, and left the quality closer, Jeranimo, well behind in the process. This was the type of closing kick critics have been waiting to see from Mr. Commons. And it was the type of brilliance that once again makes Mr. Commons one of the leading North American contenders for the BC Mile.
mark More than 1 year ago
Well said. Personally I think the only horse that can beat Obviously at a flat mile in the US or abroad at this moment is Frankel.
CMathieu66 More than 1 year ago
The Del Mar turf has been historically kinder to blazing front runners than the wider turned Santa Anita so Obviously still has another step to climb. The next stop, the former Oak Tree Mile (glamorously re-minted as the Arroyo Seco Mile. BREAKING NEWS- Frank has just announced the Breeders Cup Classic will now be known as the Stronach Invitational), will also favor him as no doubt the course opening week will be baked by the September heat radiating off the San Gabriels. I'm still not sold on either him or Mr. Commons being BC contenders. Don't dismiss Jeranimo off this effort. He's an in-and-outer who, while not as consistent as the top two, is flat out a better horse on his best day than O or MC. If you believe this and play accordingly, his erratic form is a juicy reward when you catch him on a good day. Opening Saturday @ Oak Tree, Jordan? Five GR1's, the grandeur of Santa Anita, and me howling like a loon over passive jockeys?
CMathieu66 More than 1 year ago
Just read Jeranimo will train up to the BC Mile. There goes my Arroyo Seco play.
Kyri Freeman More than 1 year ago
Mr. Commons certainly ran better than he has of late, and I do credit the blinkers, but I also noticed that the race shape had him alone, except for the winner, at the finish. When he hasn't run so well, he has often been in and among horses late, and maybe he gets intimidated. The Breeders' Cup will have a larger field and I wonder how he'll respond. Meanwhile, Obviously could be long gone unless Little Mike is in the race -- I wouldn't think Get Stormy will come to Santa Anita at all in his current form.
Carson Wiest More than 1 year ago
argggg.. had commons singled in my pick 6, which would have been a winning ticket if he gets up at the wire. Guess i have to settle for consolation 5 for 6
Tiny Montgomery More than 1 year ago
Bad beat for sure, Mr Commons was flying. I singled Obviously but didn't use Dullahan, really mad at myself as I also had 5 of 6.