08/01/2012 4:30PM

Del Mar notes: Include Me Out looks to keep focus in Clement Hirsch

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Benoit & Associates
Include Me Out will go for her fourth graded stakes win of 2012 in the Clement Hirsch.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Everything was going fine for Include Me Out in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 16, until she was past the sixteenth pole, leading by about two lengths.

“She pulled herself up,” trainer Ron Ellis said.

Include Me Out eased up just enough to be caught by Love Theway Youare and lost the race over 1 1/8 miles by 2 1/2 lengths.

Ellis insists that is not a true indication of Include Me Out’s ability.

“You can’t judge her off her last race,” he said.

For Saturday’s $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar, the prize is just as important. The Grade 1 Hirsch is run over 1 1/16 miles. Once again, Include Me Out will be a top contender. It will be up to jockey Joe Talamo to ration the filly’s speed.

“Joe will have to time her run,” Ellis said.

Owned by Samantha Siegel, Include Me Out has won 3 of 4 starts and $410,000 this year. Earlier this year, she won three graded stakes – the Grade 2 La Canada and Grade 1 Santa Margarita Stakes at Santa Anita and the Grade 2 Marjorie Everett Handicap at Hollywood Park in May.

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The competition in the Hirsch is expected to include Switch, third as the favorite in this race last year, as well as Amani, Great Hot, Kayce Ace, Quaintly, and Star Billing.

A win in the Hirsch by Include Me Out would move her closer to a start in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2.

“All the Grade 1’s are pretty important,” Ellis said.

Rail Trip targets Pacific Classic

Ellis is largely based at Hollywood Park this summer and is already having an excellent meeting at Del Mar.

Last Saturday, Siegel’s Rail Trip won the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap over 1 1/16 miles. On Wednesday, Ellis said that Rail Trip will be pointed to the $1 million Pacific Classic over 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 26.

“So far, so good,” Ellis said of Rail Trip’s condition. “We’re preparing for the Pacific Classic.”

In the San Diego, Rail Trip had an ideal journey and won his first stakes since the Grade 2 Californian at Hollywood Park in 2010.

“I think it was what he needed to boost his confidence,” Ellis said of the San Diego win.

The Pacific Classic is expected to draw a strong field, led by Game On Dude, winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup last month, and Acclamation, the reigning champion older male. Other probable starters are Richard’s Kid, who won the Cougar II Handicap last Friday; Suggestive Boy, who won the Wickerr Stakes here July 25; and John Scott and Take Control, who were second and fourth in the San Diego Handicap.

Where’s Sterling, winner of two stakes at Calder earlier this year, has been nominated, according to Del Mar racing officials. A 5-year-old horse, Where’s Sterling was fourth in the Grade 1 Donn Handicap at Gulstream Park on Feb. 11, his last race at that level.

Miller to enter three fillies for Best Pal

There will be a female presence to Sunday’s $150,000 Best Pal Stakes for 2-year-olds.

Trainer Peter Miller said Wednesday that he plans to enter three fillies in the Grade 2 race over 6 1/2 furlongs – Heir Kitty, Miss Empire, and Speedinthruthecity, with the intent of running two.

Heir Kitty, winner of a maiden race at Hollywood Park on July 8, and Miss Empire, winner of the Cinderella Stakes on June 16, are the two fillies likely to run. Miss Empire was third in the Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 14.

Speedinthruthecity, second in the Landaluce, is a candidate for the Best Pal or the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes for 2-year-old fillies over 6 1/2 furlongs next Wednesday.

Miss Empire would give owners Gary and Cecil Barber a formidable presence in the Best Pal. They also are starting expected favorite Scherer Magic, who won the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship at Hollywood Park on July 14.

Other candidates are Amarish, Heir of Storm, K Court, and Know More.