08/20/2012 2:20PM

Del Mar: Maker Or Breaker must improve in first shot against winners


DEL MAR, Calif. – Considering that Maker Or Breaker is a half-sister to two-time champion Indian Blessing and is by Empire Maker, quite a bit was expected from her when she made her debut at Del Mar earlier this meet on July 26, and she did not disappoint, though she made her win tougher than need be, what with breaking poorly and then having to swoop the field going six furlongs.

She will need to be more professional in Wednesday’s featured seventh race, because Maker Or Breaker will be racing against winners for the first time and will be stretching out around two turns, to 1 1/16 miles. Based on the visual impression she made in her one race, and her fancy pedigree, Maker Or Breaker is likely to be favored, but she will need to take a step forward off the 69 Beyer Speed Figure she got in her debut.

Her trainer, Bob Baffert, thinks she will move forward. Crediting jockey Rafael Bejarano, who rode Maker Or Breaker first time out and is back aboard Wednesday, Baffert is putting blinkers on Maker Or Breaker.

“Rafael came back and said to put blinkers on her,” Baffert said Monday morning. “She was pretty impressive in that race. She didn’t break, and she still came up and won, like Winding Way.”

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Winding Way, trained by Carla Gaines, was still fresh in the minds of everyone on Monday morning following her dazzling victory Sunday in the Rancho Bernardo Handicap, in which she broke poorly yet still rallied for the win.

Maker Or Breaker’s main competition Wednesday may come from Lady Pecan, another Baffert trainee, who is making her first start since December, when she finished third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet.

“She just needed time, so we gave her time off and freshened her up,” Baffert said. “She’s worked nicely.”

There are four others entered in the optional-claiming race, including Hoosier Honey, the lone runner entered for the $40,000 claiming price. She is making her first start for trainer Gary Sherlock, who claimed her for $32,000 last time out.

Romantic Wish comes off an excellent try going one mile at this first-level allowance condition, finishing second July 28. The third-place finisher in that race, Koko Loca, came back and won last weekend. Romantic Wish has finished second in three straight races and has been the runner-up seven times in her 18-race career.

Jaredella was fourth and Flashy Dame fifth behind Romantic Wish in that July 28 allowance.