09/02/2012 4:02PM

Del Mar: John Scott vs. Kettle Corn rivalry may resume in Awesome Again

Benoit & Associates
Kettle Corn (left) and John Scott could meet for the third time this season in the Awesome Again at Santa Anita.

The 5-year-olds John Scott and Kettle Corn are becoming a buddy act.

After finishing second and third in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on July 28, they were one-two in the Harry Brubaker Stakes over a mile on Saturday. They are both being pointed for the $250,000 Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 29, a race formerly known as the Goodwood Stakes.

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This year, several stakes at the Santa Anita fall meeting have been renamed. The rights to the previous names are held by the Oak Tree Racing Association, which operated a fall meeting at Santa Anita until 2009.

Last year, Oak Tree and Santa Anita management reached a financial agreement for Santa Anita to continue using the familiar stakes names at their fall meeting. The deal was not extended this year.

John Scott, who has won 5 of 8 starts and $301,304 for owners John Harris and Scott Gross and trainer Carla Gaines, won his second stakes in the Brubaker. He won the 2009 I’m Smokin Stakes at Del Mar, but missed 30 months of racing from late 2009 until April of this year because of injuries.

Harris wants to try John Scott in the Awesome Again as a possible prep for the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Nov. 3.
“I think he deserves a shot,” Harris said.

Kettle Corn raced in traffic in early stretch of the Brubaker and was only beaten a neck. Trained by John Sadler, Kettle Corn won the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes at Hollywood Park last fall.

Keen ends 0 for 30 drought

It took longer than expected, but trainer Dallas Keen finally had his first winner of the Del Mar meeting when the 6-year-old gelding Lime Rickey weaved his way through traffic to win a $25,000 claimer on turf on Saturday.

Lime Rickey was Keen’s 30th starter of the meeting. Before Saturday, his stable had five seconds, including a tough runner-up finish on Aug.
18 when Dazzletown led to deep stretch before getting caught.

“We keep running and it will turn back around,” he said of the stable’s record. “You go through cycles.”

Keen no longer trains Lime Rickey, who was eighth in the 2009 Wood Memorial at Aqueduct. He was claimed in a 17-way shake by trainer Bill Spawr on Saturday. Keen claimed Lime Rickey for previous owners Ywachetta and James Driver for $20,000 at Fair Grounds in January.

“We lost the horse for more than what we claimed him for, so we did all right,” Keen said. “I knew that he’d be claimed, but I didn’t know there would be 17 claims.”

Keen, 55, is typically based in Texas, but said on Saturday that he plans to have a stable in California this fall and winter.

Wednesday, he starts the $10,000 claimer Uno Mas, who will be racing as a gelding for the first time.

“I think he’ll run well as a gelding,” Keen said.

Dollase barn primed for Fairplex stakes

The West Point Thoroughbred syndicate and trainer Craig Dollase have a formidable team for the major 2-year-olds stakes of the Los Angeles County Fair Meeting at Fairplex Park this month.

The Fairplex Park season opens on Friday and continues through Sept. 23. On the weekend of Sept. 15-16, Fairplex Park runs two $100,000 races over 6 1/2 furlongs - the Barretts Juvenile for 2-year-olds and Barretts Debutante for 2-year-old fillies.

Dollase plans to start Tree of Life, a maiden race winner on Aug. 18, in the Barretts Juvenile. Tree of Life was purchased for $70,000 at Barretts in March.

“It’s a month after the maiden win and he can go two turns after that,” Dollase said.

For the Barretts Debutante, Dollase is considering a start for Pure Indy, who won her debut in Saturday’s fifth race over 5 1/2 furlongs.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Pure Indy closed from last in a field of 10 to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

“That was amazing,” Dollase said of the rally.
A decision on whether she starts in the Debutante will be made in coming days.

“We’re up in the air with the filly,” Dollase said. “We might do it. She came out of the race wonderfully.”