08/24/2012 1:52PM

Del Mar: Jeranimo will be running late in Del Mar Mile

Email
Shigeki Kikkawa
Jeranimo (left), with jockey Garrett Gomez up, runs by Suggestive Boy (center) and Little Mike to win Hollywood Park’s Shoemaker Mile.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Jeranimo makes his final start before the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 3 in Sunday’s $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf. With a 10-week gap between races, the timing could not be better, trainer Mike Pender insists.

“His races are being spread apart now,” Pender said. “As he gets older, we’ve adjusted, reacting to him and letting him train us. He calls the shots at this stage.”

A 6-year-old, Jeranimo won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 30, his most recent start. Jeranimo could have run in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes here July 21, but the race was skipped in favor of the Del Mar Mile.

“You want to log less miles,” Pender said. “It allows him to heal quicker. Our job is to hold him together.”

Pender said that Jeranimo will not run at Santa Anita in October.

“We’ll go straight to the Breeders’ Cup Mile,” he said.

That makes it even more important that Sunday’s race is a quality start for Jeranimo.

[Complete coverage of racing at Del Mar: News, PPs, and video]

Owned by B.J. Wright, Jeranimo finished eighth in the Pacific Classic on this weekend last year. He has raced exclusively on turf in his last seven starts, including wins in two Grade 2 races last fall – the Oak Tree Mile at Santa Anita and the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park.

Jeranimo beat a strong field in the Shoemaker. Runner-up Suggestive Boy returned to win the restricted Wickerr Stakes in July and starts in Sunday’s Pacific Classic. Little Mike, who was third, won the Arlington Million last weekend.

Jeranimo will need to duplicate that race against a strong field in the Del Mar Mile. With the exception of the speedy Obviously, who nearly set a course record in a one-mile turf race here Aug. 2, all six of the runners are stakes winners.

Trained by Mike Mitchell, Obviously ran a mile on turf in 1:32.41, leading throughout and winning by five lengths under jockey Joe Talamo.

The course record of 1:32.21 was set by Three Valleys in 2005.

“He could have broken the track record the other day,” said Phil D’Amato, Mitchell’s assistant. “There was a lot more there. Joe said he couldn’t pull him up.

“We found out what he wants to do, a mile on turf.”

Obviously is expected to set the pace in the Del Mar Mile.

“I think he’ll be forwardly placed,” D’Amato said. “I kind of envision him on the lead.”

Obviously could face a challenge from the Calder invader Tale of a Champion, who has won 4 of 5 starts. Now trained by Kristin Mulhall, Tale of a Champion makes his graded stakes debut in the Del Mar Mile.

A fast pace is fine with Pender. Jeranimo is a closer. Garrett Gomez rode Jeranimo in the Shoemaker Mile and has the mount Sunday.

“He’ll put him where he wants him to be placed,” Pender said of Gomez.

Expect a furious stretch run. Jeranimo is going to have to catch such notable runners as Calimonco, Mr. Commons, and Norvsky, all stakes winners on this course.