08/27/2013 3:27PM

Del Mar notes: Sadler savoring another big meet

Benoit & Associates
John Sadler led all trainers at the Del Mar meet with 23 wins heading into Wednesday's card.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – As Del Mar headed into the final days of its meeting, John Sadler found himself atop the trainers’ standings, leading both Bob Baffert and Doug O’Neill, 23-18, prior to Wednesday’s races. Should Sadler retain his lead through the end of the meeting next Wednesday, it would mark his third title here in the last six seasons. He also won it in 2008 and 2009.

Last weekend was a microcosm of Sadler’s meet. He owns four stakes wins, including Vagabond Shoes in the Del Mar Handicap last Saturday, and he’s had his horses outrun their odds in several major stakes. On Sunday, Kettle Corn (6-1) and You Know I Know (40-1) were second and third behind Game On Dude in the Pacific Classic, He Be Fire N Ice (6-1) was second to Obviously in the Del Mar Mile, and Gonna Fly Now (9-1) was third in the Pat O’Brien.

“I’m very pleased with the way the meet has gone,” Sadler said at his barn Tuesday. “Hopefully, our lead will hold up.”

The Pacific Classic was a satisfying result for Sadler in that even though his horses were no match for Game On Dude, second and third was worth a total of $320,000 out of the $1 million purse.

Sadler believes both Kettle Corn and You Know I Know are at their best on synthetic surfaces, so he is apprehensive about trying them on dirt at Santa Anita’s fall meeting in a race like the Grade 1 Awesome Again on Sept.  28.

“We’ll nominate them to everything at Santa Anita, turf and dirt,” he said. With Kettle Corn, “I’ll probably look at the turf a little more than dirt. He hasn’t been on dirt in a long time.”

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He Be Fire N Ice will be pointed to the Grade  2 City of Hope Mile, while Gonna Fly Now is likely to make his next start in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship. Both races are Oct. 5.

Sadler unveiled two potential stakes horses Sunday. Magic Union, making her first start for Sadler since a private purchase, won a second-level allowance race going one mile and could join stablemate More Chocolate in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes for older females Sept. 28.

The well-regarded 2-year-old filly Antiquity won going six furlongs against maidens in her first start and will come right back in the Grade 1 Chandelier Stakes on Sept. 28, Sadler said. Antiquity, a daughter of Pulpit, is out of the Forest Wildcat mare Stylish Wildcat.

“She had trained really well,” Sadler said. “I trained the dam, and she won first time out, so we knew there was a lot of precociousness in the family.”

Del Mar Derby contenders work

Den’s Legacy and Rising Legend, both targeting Sunday’s Grade 2 Del Mar Derby, worked Tuesday on Polytrack. Den’s Legacy went five furlongs in 1:02.40 for trainer Bob Baffert, while Rising Legend, trained by Sadler, traveled six furlongs in 1:12.60, the best time of nine at the distance.

The Del Mar Derby, a 1 1/8-mile grass race, will be split into a pair of $250,000 divisions if the number of entrants is as high as expected. There were 34 horses nominated to the race, and more than 20 are expected to enter.

◗ Surfside Race Place, Del Mar’s simulcast facility, will host a bingo night for all Del Mar employees, friends, and family Thursday. Sign-up sheets are at the frontside and backside racing offices.

Cover2 More than 1 year ago
That takes Kettle C out of the BC Clasc, darn. No tijiera.......now we'll see if can catch Den's Legacy at 1&1/8 mile ,,,,......Conditioning race horse : A lot of hours back there....Sadler " Some day I hope to have a social life ."
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Antiquity could be any kind. She looks the part and was professional in her win. Magic Union who I had a win bet on and singled in the pick 5 is a reach against Grade 1 comp. I would like to see her and Soi Phet meet up in a grade 2 or 3. Soi Phet Has to be the story of the meet, carried over from BHP and nobody talks or writes about her.
MD23 More than 1 year ago
Soi Phet is a 5 year old gelding. Why the heck would they be in the same race? And he's not graded stakes material either. Nice horse...not a stakes horse though IMO.
John More than 1 year ago
Mark is "spot on" ................my friend Craig was an attorney, doing well, hes bright, organized and gets along with people. He loved horse racing, got a chance to work for a couple trainers, wentv out on his own after a couple years and is still surviving ! He has said many times, if he had known how hard this game is to succeed, he might have never left practicing law. Under rated profession , my opinion!
mark oleary More than 1 year ago
Wrong! you need good people ie. grooms , exercise riders, even good hotwalkers make a difference. Oh, then you need to know how to read a condition book and place those horses in the right races. The daily training regimen is very important , because you can easily overtrain or undrtrain a horse, and get nothing on race day. You need good leg men (and women) who can ease a horse's daily aches and pains, especially the very tender feet. And you need a ton of luck, because so many little things contribute to a horse's performance. So many things! It's obvious you've never spent any time on the backstretch within a racing stable, because you have no idea how incredibly hard it really is.
John Jp More than 1 year ago
Horse racing trainer is the most overrated profession in sports. If "you have the horses' and the right meds, you win. Period.
MD23 More than 1 year ago
You still have to know what you're doing. Some trainers could have good horses and screw them up. See it all the time.