07/01/2011 2:17PM

Del Mar to get influx of newcomers


Del Mar could have an influx of 100 horses from stables moving to the circuit for the late summer and horses recently acquired by local trainers, according to the track’s director of racing, Tom Robbins.

Robbins said on Thursday that he has received stall applications from Texas trainers Cash Asmussen and Dallas Keen; Vann Belvoir from Washington, Troy Taylor from British Columbia; and Robertino Diodoro, Dan McFarlane, and Kory Owens, who have raced in California this year but were not at Del Mar last summer.

Diodoro has never raced at Del Mar, while Owens has not had a stable there since 2006, and McFarlane has not had runners there since 2009.

The Del Mar meeting begins on July 20.

The additional runners are considered a boost for the meeting, which will have a five-day-a-week schedule through Sept. 7, with racing on Labor Day, Sept. 5. Santa Anita earlier this year and the current Hollywood Park meeting scheduled four-day weeks for the majority of their meetings because of concern over the inventory of available horses in Southern California.

The new participants have been lured to some extent by the development of an incentive program that will pay a $1,000 appearance fee, and a 20-percent bonus for initial purse money earned in overnight races, to the owners of horses from outside of California who start at Del Mar. Only horses shipped from outside of California will be eligible.

Robbins said there are indications from recently completed stall applications that local trainers have taken advantage of the program by purchasing horses from other states for the meeting. Horses who have raced for the same owner or ownership group at a California track in the last six months are not eligible for the incentives.

The list of new runners is also expected to include international horses. The market for such horses increases in midsummer, as many of the top European races, especially for 3-year-olds, have already been run.

Robbins said that approximately 50 horses who started at Del Mar in 2010 would have been eligible for the purse incentives had the program been in place. “I’ve got to believe we’ll more than double what we had in 2010,” he said. “It’s working. You see [new] horses on the local guys’ applications. We have people out there who are thinking about it.”

Track will stay open for training

Hollywood Park will remain open for training later this month when Santa Anita’s main track is undergoing renovation that will last 10-days to two weeks, the track announced on Thursday.

Hollywood Park’s spring-summer meeting will end on July 17, and the track will stay open for training at least through July 22. The track could stay open later if Santa Anita needs additional time for renovation.

Santa Anita is scheduled to start a renovation project to reduce clay content and add sand to its main track beginning on July 11. Later this summer, Hollywood Park’s barn area will be closed, and is scheduled to reopen on Sept. 3.

American Lady headed for stakes

American Lady will be pointed for stakes at Saratoga after winning an allowance race over 6 1/2 furlongs with little difficulty at Hollywood Park on Thursday. Ridden by Martin Garcia for trainer Bob Baffert, American Lady rallied four wide on the turn and won by 2 1/4 lengths in 1:16.07.

“I wanted to get one more race into her where she could sit,” Baffert said. “She’ll run in stakes. She’ll probably go to Saratoga.”

Baffert said his Saratoga team this summer is likely to include Jaycito, who has not started since a second-place finish in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes in March. Foot problems kept Jaycito out of the Santa Anita Derby and Triple Crown. Jaycito has worked on a weekly basis since early June.

Baffert mentioned the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes on July 30 as a possible goal for Jaycito.

Andina needs big step up

The level of competition that Andina will face at Del Mar later this summer will be determined by her performance in Monday’s $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile at Hollywood Park.

Andina is one of six fillies and mares expected to start in the Grade 2 Royal Heroine on turf. Andina has yet to win a stakes in her 13-race career, and a win on Monday would lead to a start in the $250,000 John Mabee Stakes on Aug. 14. A loss would likely result in a start in the $85,000 Osunitas Handidcap on July 23.

“She needs to win a stakes,” trainer Ben Cecil said. “If she doesn’t get the job done on Monday, she’ll go for the Osunitas.”

Owned by Arnold Zetcher, Andina has placed in four stakes, including a neck loss in the Redondo Beach Stakes over a mile on turf on June 5. “She ran well last time and I think a mile is her best trip,” Cecil said.

The competition in the Royal Heroine is tougher. Andina must beat the two-time Grade 1 winner Harmonious, who is returning from a five-month layoff, and Celtic Princess, a game second in the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes on May 30.