08/07/2013 4:30PM

Del Mar notes: Awesome Baby targets Debutante


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DEL MAR, Calif. - Awesome Baby, a dazzling debut winner on Sunday for trainer Bob Baffert, will try to head right to the top of the local 2-year-old filly division in her next start, the Grade  1, $300,000 Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 31.

Awesome Baby, a daughter of Awesome Again, ran in Sunday’s race following a five-furlong gate workout earlier that week that caused Baffert to move up her debut.

“The time before she didn’t work well, but then she zipped around there in 59 under a hold, so I ran her,” Baffert said. “She’s fast.”

Awesome Baby recently had a stablemate take a bite out of an ear.

“She’s more aerodynamic,” Baffert joked. “She looks like Mike Tyson got a hold of her. She’s scarred for life.”

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Sunday Rules stays with Cal-breds

Trainer Mike Mitchell will take a more conservative approach with Sunday Rules, a 2-year-old filly who defeated California-bred maidens in her debut on Saturday. Instead of the Debutante, Mitchell said Sunday Rules will point for the $150,000 Generous Portion for Cal-breds on Aug. 28.

“She had trained very, very well, but sometimes the track in the afternoon is different than the morning,” Mitchell said. “I was afraid she’d come up empty, but she kicked it in.”

Sunday Rules, by Tribal Rule, is a homebred for Nick Alexander. She is out of the General Meeting mare Sunday Dress.

“We raced the mare, lost her, then claimed her back, and then Nick bred her,” Mitchell said. “Nick’s done very, very well claiming mares, having them pay their way, and then breeding them.”

Ethnic Dance finds home on turf

Ethnic Dance didn’t show much in his first four starts, which came on dirt and synthetic, but he has blossomed since moving to the turf. He was an unlucky loser against maidens in his first grass race in May at Betfair Hollywood Park, but since then has scored a pair of powerful wins, against maidens at Hollywood Park and then in a first-level allowance field last Saturday.

Ethnic Dance’s two wins came against California-breds, so he still has an open first-level allowance condition to use, and trainer John Sadler wants to do that before heading to even tougher competition.
“It took us a while to find out what he wanted to do,” Sadler said. “We always thought he had talent. He’s a half-brother to Twirling Candy.”

Twirling Candy, also trained by Sadler, won such important stakes races as the Grade 1 Malibu, and Grade 2 Strub and Californian. Both Ethnic Dance, a 3-year-old by Tribal Rule, and Twirling Candy, by Candy Ride, were bred by Jenny Craig, and then raced by Craig in a partnership. Both horses are out of the Chester House mare House of Danzing.

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

◗ Jockey Kevin Krigger and his agent, Tom Knust, have parted ways. Knust began booking mounts on Wednesday for Patrick Valenzuela, who returned to riding last weekend after an eight-month absence. Knust will continue booking mounts for Mario Gutierrez. Earlier this year, Krigger won the Santa Anita Derby on Goldencents.