08/25/2012 3:34PM

Del Mar notes: Differing over Brother Francis

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Shigeki Kikkawa
Brother Francis finished second in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes and third in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity last fall before winning his maiden race Aug. 5.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Brother Francis was six races into his career before he won a maiden race here over 6 1/2 furlongs on Aug. 5. He was the most accomplished maiden on the grounds at that time, having finished second in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Stakes and third in the Grade 1 CashCall Futurity last fall.

The recent win, by six lengths, has led owner Norman Cheng to plan for a start in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby over 1 1/8 miles on turf next Sunday.

Trainer Jim Cassidy would prefer a start in the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes over a mile on the Polytrack surface on Friday.

“I would have considered the El Cajon,” Cassidy said. “This is where Mr. Cheng wants to run. My only concern is whether he gets the distance at this stage. I’ll work him again this week.”

The maiden win by Brother Francis was his first start since a fifth in the Santa Anita Derby in April, a loss that ended any plans for a start in the Triple Crown.

Cassidy said that Brother Francis could be sent to Hong Kong, where Cheng lives, for a stakes next spring.

In the Del Mar Derby, he will be part of a field that includes Old Time Hockey, the winner of the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 11, and Midnight Crooner, a winner of a division of the Oceanside Stakes here on July 18.

◗ Beholder, a maiden race winner on July 22, worked six furlongs in 1:14 on Saturday in preparation for the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante next Saturday. Trained by Richard Mandella, Beholder will make her stakes debut in the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante over seven furlongs.

Jerome Moynihan More than 1 year ago
I think that "trainer" is almost a mis-nomer when it comes to race-horses. Most of what horses do is a product of their own inherent ability. "conditioner" is a more appropriate epitaph for what these guys do. The training aspect applies more to their relationship to their owners, who must be trained to stay out of this kind of interference in decision making.