08/25/2013 3:28PM

Del Mar notes: Vagabond Shoes to be made eligible for Breeders' Cup Turf

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Benoit & Associates
Vagabond Shoes, a Group 3 winner in France, gets his first stakes win in the United States on Saturday in the Del Mar Handicap.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Vagabond Shoes earned a fees-paid berth to the $3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf at Santa Anita on Nov. 2 with a win in Saturday’s $200,250 Del Mar Handicap.

Owner Kosta Hronis will need to dedicate most of the winner’s share of $120,000 from Saturday’s race to make Vagabond Shoes eligible for the Breeders’ Cup. The 6-year-old gelding was not made eligible as a weanling. The nomination fee to the Breeders’ Cup will be $100,000 and covers the duration of the gelding’s career.

Hronis and trainer John Sadler said over the weekend that they plan to make the payment this fall.

Remarkably, Vagabond Shoes could have been claimed for $62,500 when he finished second in an optional claimer on turf at Betfair Hollywood Park in May. In his first start at Del Mar, Vagabond Shoes finished second in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes over 1 1/8 miles on turf July 20. The Grade 2 Del Mar Handicap over 1 3/8 miles on turf was the longest race in his 26-race career.

Sadler said Sunday that Vagabond Shoes might have a prep race for the Breeders’ Cup in the $150,000 John Henry Turf Championship at Santa Anita on Sept. 29. “That’s very likely,” he said.

The Del Mar Handicap was the first stakes win in the United States for Vagabond Shoes, who was acquired last fall for approximately $128,000 through bloodstock agent Hubert Guy. Vagabond Shoes won two Group 3 races in France in 2011 and 2012.

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Del Mar Derby to have two divisions

The Grade 2, $300,000 Del Mar Derby will be run in $250,000 divisions next Sunday, director of racing Tom Robbins confirmed.

With 34 nominations and approximately 20 probable starters, the race is expected to draw two large fields. The track has a safety limit of 10 starters in races over the Del Mar Derby distance of 1 1/8 miles on turf.

The decision to divide the Del Mar Derby was made over the weekend after Del Mar officials conferred with the Thoroughbred Owners of California, which must agree to changes in purses.

Trainer Bob Baffert said Sunday that Den’s Legacy, second to Dice Flavor in the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 10, would be supplemented for $2,500. Dice Flavor is another candidate for the Del Mar Derby.