08/16/2011 1:51PM

Del Mar: Mr. Commons pointed for Mile

Shigeki Kikkawa
Jaycito missed the La Jolla because of foot trouble.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Mr. Commons, the winner of the Oceanside Stakes on July 20 who missed the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap last weekend because of a sore foot, is back in training and likely to start in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile against older horses on Aug. 27, trainer John Shirreffs said on Tuesday.

Mr. Commons fought a bruised foot last week and was not entered in Saturday’s La Jolla. Sunday, Mr. Commons worked five furlongs on turf in 1:00. He returned to the track on Wednesday for a jog on the training track, Shirreffs said.

The Grade 2 Del Mar Mile is the preferred option over the $250,000 Del Mar Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf on Sept. 4. A successful start in the Del Mar Mile could lead to even more lucrative and prestigious opportunities this fall, such as the Breeders’ Cup, Shirreffs hinted.

“I’m leaning toward the Mile,” he said. “You’ve got to try it you if that’s where he’s headed this year.”

Owned by Ian Banwell, Mr. Commons has won 3 of 6 starts and $253,660. Earlier this year, Mr. Commons was third to Midnight Interlude in the Santa Anita Derby and eighth in the Preakness Stakes.

The Del Mar Mile field is expected to include Courageous Cat, the winner of the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park last month.

Without Mr. Commons, the Del Mar Derby field would be led by Burns and Midnight Interlude, who were first and fourth in the La Jolla.

Burns was second to Mr. Commons in the Oceanside and won his first stakes in the La Jolla Handicap. Trained by Barry Abrams for breeders Madeline Auerbach and Sonny Pais, Burns closed from third along the inside in the final furlong to win the La Jolla Handicap over 1 1/16 miles on turf by a neck over Lil Bit O’Fun.

The win impressed Abrams, who is undergoing treatment for throat cancer this summer.

“He’s improving, and he’ll go forward with every run,” Abrams said of Burns.

Midnight Interlude was beaten 1 1/4 lengths in the La Jolla Handicap after a troubled trip through the stretch when he was bumped.

Trainer Bob Baffert said that Midnight Interlude was unhappy after the race. “It took a crowbar to get the bit out of his mouth,” Baffert said. “He just had a bad trip.”