08/26/2012 6:38PM

Del Mar: Howe Great coming cross country for Del Mar Derby

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David Owens/Equi-Photo
Howe Great has won three turf stakes this season, including the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Howe Great, the three-time stakes winner on turf, has had a summer campaign geared toward a Labor Day weekend appearance in California.

He will arrive on the West Coast this week with an excellent chance to win Sunday’s $300,000 Del Mar Derby, a Grade 2 race over 1 1/8 miles on turf. He is the lone shipper from another circuit, but could pose the greatest danger for the locals.

The winner of the Jersey Derby at Monmouth Park on July 21, Howe Great will be shipped from trainer Graham Motion’s base in Maryland on Wednesday.

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He will face a local group led by Old Time Hockey, who won the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap here on Aug. 11, and Midnight Crooner, the winner of a division of the restricted Oceanside Stakes here on July 18.

Howe Great, a colt by Hat Trick, races for the Team Valor International partnership. The Del Mar Derby will be his first start in California, but is a race that Motion has been considering through the summer.

“We kind of used his last race as his prep race,” he said.

The Jersey Derby was run over 1 1/16 miles on turf. Howe Great stalked the pace in a field of six and took the lead in early stretch before winning by 1 1/4 lengths as the 3-10 favorite. Earlier this year, Howe Great won two stakes on turf at Gulfstream Park – the Kitten’s Joy Stakes and the Grade 3 Palm Beach Stakes in January and March.

“He’s a consistent horse,” Motion said.  “We had a great run with him in Florida.”

The Del Mar Derby field is also expected to include All Squared Away, Brother Francis, My Best Brother, Smart Ellis, and Tones.

Smart Ellis, trained by Richard Mandella, will make his 2012 stakes debut in the Del Mar Derby. The colt, by Smarty Jones, won an optional claimer here on July 20 in his first start since January. Sunday, Smart Ellis worked six furlongs in 1:14.40 under retired Hall of Fame jockey Julie Krone.

Krone has worked horses in recent weeks in advance of an appearance in a retired jockey’s charity race at Doncaster, England, on Sept. 12.
Krone won the race last year.

Apprentice Flores ordered off all mounts indefinitely

Apprentice jockey Eswan Flores was removed from his mounts on Saturday by the California Horse Racing Board and will not ride for the near future because of “personal issues”, according to his agent, Joe Griffin.

Del Mar stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward declined to discuss Flores’s absence or whether the jockey faced any possible hearings in the near future.

A racing board spokesman said, “The California Horse Racing has ordered Eswan Flores off all mounts indefinitely.” The spokesman did not elaborate on a reason.

Griffin said on Sunday that he was not booking mounts for Flores in coming days.

“He has something personal come up and he had to go to LA,” Griffin said. “He won’t ride for a few days.”

Griffin did not elaborate on the reason for Flores’s absence.

Flores, 19, has won eight races at this meeting from 105 mounts, and was tied for ninth through Saturday. Earlier this year, he was fourth in the standings at the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting with 54 wins and was seventh at the Betfair Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting with 24 wins.

Dogs Up More than 1 year ago
You would think, just maybe the PR people dying for new attention to this game crying for fans would send out a release noting the names of these two Hockey associated runners to the NHL tv stations and other sports media. Who'd thunk it?
Joyce Johnson Groome More than 1 year ago
Old Time Hockey is also a Smarty Jones colt! Would love to see a 1-2 punch in this one! Smart Ellis finished in front of Daddy Nose Best in the Eddie Logan! I just worry if he can shake the rust off after such a long lay-off! Good luck boys!
rvraynmary More than 1 year ago
Re Flores, why does tight-lipped offiicialdom always create more mystery about suspensions rather than tell us what's going on? It's always either a "personal" problem (what isn't?) or a "personnel' issue. What did the poor jock do? Ray
Kimberly Shugars More than 1 year ago
Didn't Motion recently ship another horse to Cali for a stakes race and came home to Fair Hill a winner ? I saw Howe Great in his stall a couple of weeks ago and he looked fantastic so I would not discount him. Howe Great has only finished off the board once in 9 races.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Guess it's one of them things I haven't shifted over to... I know there are shippers and there are shippers but I'm still for alittle settle-in time.
peter k More than 1 year ago
Motion sent Colonial Flag here off a 2nd to Cenrte Court in a turf stakes at Churchill . She ran a one paced 5th or 6th to the turf monstress Lady of Shamrock . Subsequently went back to Fair Hill and shiipped to Woodbine to win a $ 150,000 stakes race
Kimberly Shugars More than 1 year ago
Peter, Michael Matz trains Colonial Flag, Motion trained her sister, Shared Account.
Chris Butler More than 1 year ago
I would predict a Hockey exacta, but I don't think Howe Great can finish in the money, let alone second
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
If this Colt can overcome the 'last minute shipping stunt' they will have to call him Howe Much the Great...