08/10/2012 5:05PM

Del Mar notes: Baffert's Pacific Classic crew shrinks by one

Email
Benoit & Associates
Take Control is out of training for the time being.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Trainer Bob Baffert has a juggernaut heading to the Pacific Classic in Game On Dude, Jaycito, and Richard’s Kid, but a fourth possible runner for the race, Take Control, has been taken out of training and will miss the Pacific Classic.

[Complete coverage of racing at Del Mar: News, PPs, and video]

“He was a little off. At first we thought it was a foot. But we can’t find anything specific, but when you can’t find exactly what it is, it’s best to just stop for 60 days,” Baffert said Friday morning. “It’s nothing that needs surgery.”

Baffert faced a similar situation earlier this year with the 3-year-old Fed Biz, who is now back in training at Del Mar and has looked sensational in recent works.

Take Control is an impeccably bred son of A.P. Indy out of Horse of the Year Azeri. Now age 5, he has raced just three times. In his last start, he closed furiously into a slow pace when he was a deceptively good fourth in the San Diego Handicap on July 28.

Princess Ash gets chance to shine

Princess Ash was a sharp second in her comeback race on July 5. Trouble was, she ran into her Baffert-trained stablemate, Smart and Single, who won impressively in her debut and was scheduled to run on Saturday.

But with Smart and Single out of the way, Princess Ash gets her chance to shine in the sixth race on Sunday, going 6 1/2 furlongs against maiden 3-year-old fillies.

“She ran good off the layoff,” Baffert said Friday morning. “The other horse can really, really run.”

Also in the race is Belonging, a daughter of Include making her debut for trainer John Sadler. She was bred and is owned by Jerry and Ann Moss.

“She was immature at 2, big, so we gave her time,” Sadler said. “She’s done well. It looks like a strong race on paper. I think with her being by Include, she’ll probably be better going long. But we like her.”

Mandella opts for easier spot with No Silent

No Silent, who beat maidens sprinting on the turf at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 7, was nominated to the La Jolla Handicap on Saturday, but trainer Gary Mandella thought it more prudent to await Sunday’s fourth race, an optional-claimer at one mile on grass.

“He just broke his maiden, and this is an easier field,” Mandella said. “And I didn’t like the idea of going from a one-turn sprint to what’s basically a three-turn mile-and-a-sixteenth in the La Jolla.

“When they come out of that chute, it’s a pretty quick run to a tight turn. At a mile, there’s a nice, long run to the clubhouse turn.”

Also in Sunday’s third race is All Squared Away, 70-1 winner of the Lexington Stakes in April, who has lost three straight since and is in for an $80,000 claiming price.

Grass greener for Wishing Gate

Del Mar reworked its stakes schedule this summer to add grass races for 2-year-olds who may have designs on respective Breeders’ Cup races this fall at Santa Anita, and one of the first to sign up is trainer Tom Proctor, who will send Wishing Gate to the $100,000 Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf on Sept. 3 following a sharp win against maidens on Wednesday in her second lifetime start.

“I love it,” Proctor said. “I’m a green monster. I kind of have a lot of horses who run on the grass.”

Wishing Gate certainly is bred for it. A daughter of Indian Charlie, she is out of the Repriced mare Rich in Spirit, a grass stakes winner whom Proctor trained and who won more than $600,000.

“Her mother was good on turf, so you’d hope she’d be good on it, too,” Proctor said. “Her mother could run. This is a good filly.”

In her win on Wednesday, Wishing Gate closed from sixth with a final quarter-mile in approximately 23 seconds flat.

◗ Apprentice jockey Eswan Flores was fined $400 by the Del Mar stewards for repeated violations of failing to meet with the film analyst.