08/18/2013 3:13PM

Del Mar notes: Silentio gears up for matchup with Obviously

Shigeki Kikkawa
Silentio, the winner of the Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita in December, will start in the Del Mar Mile on Aug. 25.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Silentio, the winner of the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort Stakes at Santa Anita in December, has not started since finishing fifth to reigning Horse of the Year Wise Dan in the Grade 1 Maker’s 46 Mile at Keeneland in April.

When the 4-year-old Silentio starts in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on turf Aug. 25, he must beat a horse who was competitive against Wise Dan in the last year. Obviously was third to Wise Dan in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Santa Anita last November.

Obviously has kept that form in recent starts, winning two stakes this year at Hollywood Park, the Grade 2 American Handicap and the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile.

Silentio has not started since the spring.

“He had no procedures,” trainer Gary Mandella said of the layoff. “He was a little jarred up, but a lot of it was mental. He got frazzled and excitable. He lost more weight than he should have.”

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Mandella took it easy with Silentio through the spring, preparing the colt for a campaign in the second half of 2013. On Sunday, Silentio worked six furlongs in 1:12.60, one-fifth of a second slower than a workout over the same distance Aug. 3.

In the Grade 2 Del Mar Mile, Silentio and Obviously are part of an expected small field that is likely to include El Commodore, He Be Fire N Ice, and Tigah.

“Other than the fact that Obviously is in there, it’s a wonderful spot,” Mandella said.

New strategy for Discreet Marq

Discreet Marq showed a new dimension when she won her first Grade 1 race in Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Oaks.

Instead of leading throughout, as she had done in her four previous wins, Discreet Marq raced as a stalker, a style that led to a win by three-quarters of a length over Wishing Gate in the race over 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The win made Discreet Marq a leading candidate for the division’s top race of the autumn, the $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup for 3-year-old fillies on turf at Keeneland on Oct. 12.

Discreet Marq is trained by Christophe Clement, whose assistant, Christophe Lorieul, traveled to California with the filly. Lorieul said Discreet Marq has been trained behind horses in recent weeks to teach her to adapt. The style worked when jockey Julien Leparoux guided Discreet Marq behind Need You Now and Unusual Way in the first half of the Del Mar Oaks.

“[Leparoux] said when she was covered up, she relaxed,” Lorieul said. “She took a deep breath around the turn, and she kicked.”

Lorieul said the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup may be ideal for Discreet Marq, and that the $350,000 Garden City Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Belmont Park on Sept. 14 “would be a little close.”

“You can do it, but the Queen Elizabeth would be the logical choice,” he said.

Maiden winners stepping up

Can the Man and Indexical, the winners of maiden special weight races for 2-year-olds Saturday, are likely to run in the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 4.

Can the Man, who topped the Barretts May sale of 2-year-olds in training when purchased for $320,000, won his debut in Saturday’s fourth race. A colt by Into Mischief owned by Kaleem Shah and trained by Bob Baffert, Can the Man ran 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.82.

Indexical won his second career start in the sixth race. Owned by Paul and Zillah Reddam and trained by Ben Cecil, Indexical, by Latent Heat, finished 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:03.14. Indexical was a troubled fifth in his first start July 20.

In the Del Mar Futurity, they are expected to face the first three finishers in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 4 – Alberts Hope, Celtic Moon, and Guns Loaded. Other candidates are Alpine Luck, Better Bet, California Chrome, Dance With Fate, New Year’s Day, and Rum Point.

New Year’s Day was third behind Indexical in his debut Saturday. Alpine Luck, who won the Hollywood Juvenile Championship on July 13, was fifth in the Best Pal. California Chrome won the Graduation Stakes for California-breds on July 31.