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Del Mar: John Henry next target for Casino Host
Casino Host earned a fees-paid berth to the Breeders’ Cup Turf over 1 1/2 miles at Santa Anita on Nov. 3 with his victory in the Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap on Saturday.
The BC Turf will be the first time that the 4-year-old Casino Host has started over 1 1/2 miles. In the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf, Casino Host ($9.60) won by a neck over Dhaamer, the 6-5 favorite.
“I think if they can go a mile and three eighths they can go a mile and a half,” Ellis said.
Ellis said that Casino Host will start in the $150,000 John Henry Turf Championship over 1 1/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita on Sept. 30 as a prep for the BC Turf. The Grade 2 John Henry Championship was formerly known as the Clement Hirsch Turf Championship.
Owned by Gary and Mary West, Casino Host joined Ellis’s stable earlier this summer. He was third behind 2011 champion Acclamation in his first start for the stable, the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on July 21.
“He’s done really well since he’s been here,” Ellis said. “It’s nice to see him come through. I thought he ran a great race.”
Casino Host has won 4 of 15 starts and $575,175.
Former jockey wins first as trainer
Trainer Emily Mode, 27, won her first race last Friday when the 15-1 shot Economy of Motion led throughout a maiden claimer.
A native of Fullerton, Calif., Mode is a former jockey who began her association with racehorses as a hot walker at the San Luis Rey Downs training center in Bonsall, Calif. Mode quit riding in December 2010, having ridden Thoroughbreds primarily at Los Alamitos.
She began training last year, and has five horses in her stable.
Economy of Motion was Mode’s 16th career starter.
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