08/01/2012 3:30PM

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.

Jordan More than 1 year ago
I have doubts about Include Me Out at 9 furlongs on a dry track. Fortunately for her, the Hirsch is at 8.5 furlongs. In the Vanity, maybe Include Me Out did pull herself up some in the stretch, but in any event I don't think she had much left in the tank. That track at Hollywood was dead the last month, and in the Vanity they went the first half in 46 and change. That's like going 44 at Santa Anita, and Include Me Out was just a few lengths off the lead. Talamo rode the race like it was at Santa Anita, and/or was one of a handful of jockeys in the race whose internal clock malfunctioned. Include Me Out is the clear favorite for the Hirsch based on recent maintrack 2-turn form. But she's going to face some class fillies. Switch is stretching back out; she might not be what she once was, but her last showed she will still fight and 8.5 furlongs is within her optimal range. Star Billing placed in a couple of grade 1s before winning the gr.1 Matriarch at the end of last year. Her comeback was poor, and stablemate Nereid hasn't found her form after starting the year with a slow effort. Additionally, the 3 year old turf fillies Star Billing faced last year haven't distinguished themselves well this year. However, I do believe Star Billing was the best of that lot, and 8.5 furlongs is a great distance for her. Turf horses seem to do fine over Del Mar's Poly. But the horse to watch, and the horse I'm most interested in seeing, is Amani. Her running line in Chile is insane. Not only was she 10 for 11 with multiple grade 1s, but she won those stakes races by open lengths, including one by 25. And in her last race she crushed males going a distance in one of Chile's most important races. Her only loss came in another grade 1 vs. males earlier in her career.
RunningDog More than 1 year ago
Where are the good colts on the West Coast? Scherer Magic is a nice colt, but should not be the number one colt on the West in August.
kevin More than 1 year ago
Heir Kitty should get a good trip under david flores @4to1