09/03/2013 2:20PM

Del Mar: Maiden winners New Year's Day, Schoolofhardrocks target Grade 1 stakes


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New Year’s Day and Schoolofhardrocks, winners of maiden special weight races over a mile for 2-year-olds Saturday at Del Mar, are likely to start in Grade 1 races later this month or in early October.

New Year’s Day, who was timed in 1:36.93, is a candidate for the $250,000 FrontRunner Stakes over 1 1/16 miles at Santa Anita on Sept. 28, trainer Bob Baffert said. Owned by Gary and Mary West, New Year’s Day, by Street Cry, won his second start Saturday.

Baffert said he expects further improvement as New Year’s Day makes additional starts.

“He’s still immature mentally,” Baffert said. “Racing will help him.”

Schoolofhardrocks, by Rock Hard Ten, won his debut in Saturday’s second race, finishing a mile in 1:36.85.

The colt was bred by Jerry Amerman and is owned by her and husband, John. David Hofmans trains Schoolofhardrocks, who will be considered for the FrontRunner or the $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity over 1 1/16 miles at Keeneland on Oct. 5.

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“With the program at Santa Anita, we might have to evaluate that,” Hofmans said. “He’s impressed me in the mornings.”

Trainer Blincoe retires

More than 60 years of involvement in Thoroughbred racing is ending this summer for Southern California trainer Tom Blincoe.

Blincoe, 76, had his final starter last Friday, when Tickle Again finished fourth in a maiden race at Del Mar. On Sunday, Blincoe was wrapping up the business of his small stable – and looking forward to retirement.

“I’ve got a million hobbies and a big family,” he said. “Everyone has driven up the coast to the Redwoods but me.”

Blincoe has a home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., near Del Mar and plans to visit his children and grandchildren. Blincoe moved to California in the late 1950s and received a trainer’s license at age 21, “which was unheard of at the time,” he said.

In the last 20 years, he trained the stakes-placed runners Loma Linda Lass and Wild Tickle. Tickle Again is out of Wild Tickle.

Blincoe said members of his stable have been sent to other trainers and that his primary client, Richard Bell, is “phasing out” his racing holdings.