07/28/2012 2:29PM

Del Mar notes: Richard's Kid gets well-paid work in Cougar II Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Richard's Kid wins the Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap by 1 1/2 lengths.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The difference between the exercise put forth by Richard’s Kid on Friday evening and Game On Dude on Saturday morning at Del Mar was that Richard’s Kid earned prize money for his effort.

Richard’s Kid won the Grade 3, $100,000 Cougar II Handicap in track-record time, running 1 1/2 miles in 2:29.22. He won by 1 1/2 lengths, with minimal effort.

The victory puts him on schedule for the $1 million Pacific Classic here Aug. 26, a race he won in 2009 and 2010. The Pacific Classic also will feature his stablemate Game On Dude, who won the Hollywood Gold Cup earlier this month. On Saturday, Game On Dude worked six furlongs in 1:13.20, the fastest of 10 works at the distance.

Both horses are trained by Bob Baffert, whose stable has runners in seemingly every stakes in California this summer.

Richard’s Kid won his second stakes of the year in the Cougar II. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Richard’s Kid was fifth or six in a field of six and was only urged through the final quarter-mile.

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“Rafael came back and said he worked really good,” Baffert joked in the winner’s circle.

“He’s a good horse and he likes this track. He has so much class and he’s doing well right now.”

Owned by Zabeel Racing of Dubai, Richard’s Kid was part of Baffert’s stable in 2009 and 2010. Richard’s Kid was sent to Dubai in late 2010, where he was winless in five starts in 2011 and earlier this year. A 7-year-old horse by Lemon Drop Kid, Richard’s Kid has won 11 of 35 starts and $1,986,385.

Richard’s Kid rejoined Baffert’s stable this spring. He won the minor Prove It Stakes in June at Betfair Hollywood Park and was second in the Hollywood Gold Cup earlier this month.

In the Cougar II Handicap, Richard’s Kid lowered the previous track record of 2:29.32, which was set by Bourbon Bay in the 2011 Cougar II.

Amani to make U.S. debut in Hirsch

The $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes here Aug. 4 will feature the American debut of the Chilean star Amani.

Now trained by Neil Drysdale, Amani won 10 of 11 starts in Chile, including nine of 10 starts last year. A 4-year-old filly by Morning Raider, Amani won four Group 1 races last year, including the Chilean St. Leger over 1 3/8 miles in December. Her only loss was a second in a Group 1 over 1 3/16 miles last October.

Owned by Sumaya U.S. Stables, Amani will be ridden by Garrett Gomez in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch, which is run over 1 1/16 miles. She has been working steadily at Hollywood Park since late April.

Drysdale described Amani as a filly who comes from behind. He described her training as “so far, so good.”

In the Hirsch, Amani is expected to face Include Me Out, Quaintly, Star Billing, and Switch.

Switch won the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap at Hollywood Park on July  14. She was third behind Ultra Blend in the 2011 Hirsch, going off as the 7-10 favorite.