08/18/2013 2:53PM

Del Mar notes: Byrama has sharp workout, eyes Pacific Classic

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Benoit & Associates
Byrama, who won the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap in June, breezed five furlongs in 59.60 seconds Sunday.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Byrama worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds at Del Mar on Sunday, a workout that left trainer Simon Callaghan debating whether to start the 4-year-old filly against males in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 25.

The winner of the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park in June, Byrama would be the only female in the Pacific Classic, the meeting’s top race for older horses.

While Callaghan said he was content with Sunday’s workout, he left open the possibility that Byrama could be held out of the race in favor of the $500,000 Spinster Stakes for fillies and mares over 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland on Oct. 6.

“It’s pending how she comes out of it,” Callaghan said. “We’re not committed to the race, for sure.”

Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Byrama was a troubled third in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Stakes for fillies and mares here Aug. 3, racing in traffic in early stretch.

“She owes us nothing,” Callaghan said.

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The Pacific Classic has a probable field of 12. Dullahan, the defending champion, breezed five furlongs in 59.80 seconds at Churchill Downs on Sunday. Trained by Dale Romans, Dullahan was scheduled to be flown to California on Monday.

The list of probable starters includes Delegation, Endorsement, Farraaj, Game On Dude, Hawk’s Eyes, Jeranimo, Kettle Corn, Liaison, Richard’s Kid, and You Know I Know.

Game On Dude, the winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 6, is expected to be favored. Game On Dude races near the lead and could be joined on the front end in the Pacific Classic by Delegation or Endorsement.

A potential speed duel makes the race attractive for Callaghan since Byrama races from the back of the field.

“It sets up for us with a lot of pace,” Callaghan said.

Dude, where’s your car?

Track veterinarian Dana Stead was in the paddock Saturday afternoon, observing the runners for an upcoming race, when he got what was probably the strangest message he will receive over his walkie-talkie from steward Luis Jauregui.

“Luis called me and said, ‘Where are you?’ ” Stead recalled Sunday. “I said, ‘I’m in the paddock. Why?’

‘Someone just took your van.’ ”

Stead’s minivan, parked on the racetrack adjacent to the winner’s circle with the keys in the ignition, was too appealing of a ride for one racing fan, who jumped over a fence and the outside rail of the racetrack before climbing into the driver’s seat and zooming off. The person drove the minivan about a quarter-mile down the outside rail to the chute at the top of the stretch before jumping out and running into a nearby parking lot used for music concerts.

The person, apparently acting on a dare, was later apprehended by security and arrested on charges of driving under the influence, according to track officials.

“That was a first,” track President Joe Harper said.

The vehicle, which Stead drives to the starting gate for each race, was not damaged, the veterinarian said. The incident led to a new policy for Stead, the track veterinarian for the last four years.

“The keys will go with me,” he said.

David Juffet More than 1 year ago
If pace is fast enough can jeranimo upset this field or grab a piece at a big price?might go well on surface you never know.
David Juffet More than 1 year ago
It's a novel idea to take keys out of car lol
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
No charge for auto theft?
MD23 More than 1 year ago
i questiom why he didn't take his keys with him in the first place!!! :)