09/02/2013 12:12PM

Del Mar: Rail Trip preps for fall campaign in Pirates's Bounty Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Rail Trip will make his first start since June 29 in Wednesday's Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Rail Trip, the millionaire 8-year-old gelding, needs a start in Wednesday’s $90,000 Pirate’s Bounty Stakes at Del Mar to stay on schedule for a fall campaign at Santa Anita. and a start in the Breeders’ Cup.

He is not the only runner in the six-furlong race in that situation.

The Pirate’s Bounty Stakes and the $90,000 California Equine Retirement Foundation Stakes for fillies and mares, both on Wednesday, attracted several starters returning from layoffs who could start in Breeders’ Cup races at Santa Anita on Nov. 1 and 2.

In 2012, Rail Trip was second in the BC Dirt Mile, a race owner Samantha Siegel and trainer Ron Ellis have as a goal this year.

“I want to get a couple of races in him if we have a chance to go in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile,” Ellis said.

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Rail Trip has started once this year, finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Triple Bend Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 29. He emerged from that race with a sore foot that disrupted his summer campaign.

“He had a foot abscess that I was dealing with,” Ellis said. “The foot has been getting better and better. We want to get a race into him.”

As for Rail Trip’s prospects on Wednesday, Ellis downplayed his chances, but said, “I never put anything past a classy horse like him.”

[DEL MAR FUTURITY: Get PPs, watch Wednesday's card live]

The Pirate’s Bounty and CERF Stakes are restricted to nonwinners of a stakes worth $50,000 or more at a mile other than statebred races since March 1. Both races are run over six furlongs.

The Pirate’s Bounty field of nine includes the multiple stakes winner Ain’t No Other; Private Zone, who was second in four consecutive sprint stakes last fall and winter; Roman Threat, unraced since winning the Los Angeles Handicap in May 2012; and Ruler of Dubai, winner of two stakes here in 2011.

Private Zone has not raced since finishing ninth in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen at Meydan in March.

“We slowed down on him and gave him 30 days off,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “He’d had a long year.”

Roman Threat, a 5-year-old gelding, has been limited to three career starts. He is likely to set the pace, trainer Bob Baffert said.

“He’s fast,” he said. “He’s showed a lot of brilliance before he left. This is a good spot for him.”

Baffert also runs So Brilliant, the sharp winner of an optional claimer at Hollywood Park on June 30 in his last start. Baffert said the Pirate’s Bounty is a prep for the $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship on Oct. 5 for So Brilliant.

Ruler of Dubai has not raced since finishing third in the Grade 1 Norfolk Stakes at Santa Anita in October, 2011, a layoff caused by a tendon injury. The Pirate’s Bounty will help Ruler of Dubai prepare for the Santa Anita meeting, trainer George Papaprodromou said.

“He could do with another work or two,” Papaprodromou said. “It can be a prep race for him.”

CERF: Gypsy Robin starts outside

The CERF Stakes will be the second start of 2013 for Gypsy Robin, a three-time stakes winner in 2012.

Trained by Mike Puype, Gypsy Robin was fourth behind Reneesgotzip in an allowance race July 18. Reneesgotzip returned to win the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap on Aug. 18.

Gypsy Robin needed the start, Puype said.

“I rushed to get her ready for that,” Puype said. “I think she’s in better shape going into this race. I expect her to run big.”

The CERF Stakes drew six fillies and mares. Gypsy Robin drew the outside post.

There will be widespread support for Wednesday and Big Honey Bee, who were first and second in an optional claimer Aug. 7.

Madame Cactus starts for the first time since finishing fourth in the Delta Princess Stakes in Louisiana last November. A maiden race winner at Santa Anita last September when trained by Peter Eurton, Madame Cactus won the My Trusty Cat Stakes at Delta Downs for Steve Asmussen last October.

She has been back in training with Eurton in recent months.

“I think she’s a relatively fit filly for as much as I can do in the morning,” Eurton said.

Paul Ferg More than 1 year ago
There's not one horse in this field that can warm Roman Threat up.....If Baffert has this colt right (and thats the million dollar question) then Roman Threat wins this for fun.....
Steven Wells More than 1 year ago
Horse has big BC Sprint shot if he can stay healthy for 2 more months.
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Grazyna Mianska More than 1 year ago
Do you raise hogs. You should.
John More than 1 year ago
Its a mystery why the Seigal's took a horse that Ellis knew like the back of his hand, and sent him east, to virtually disappear ! People might not remember, but Rail Trips first two races were sprints that he won by DAYLIGHT in a cantor, as Trevor would say ! Lets hope he stays healthy, I think Ellis will take good care of this old boy, I wouldnt bet against him !
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
Samantha Seigal made 1 mistake with this horse. Years ago she took RT away from Ron Ellis and sent him west to some clown , well , we all know that story. Horse went from heaven to hell back to heaven IMO. 8YO RT has always been 1 of my favorites whenever he runs just glad to see him with Ellis. Some horses just belong with certain people and this horse belongs just where he is. Would love to see this older boy win a couple more for connections......East Coast here........
RunningDog More than 1 year ago
Her dad took the horse away, Samantha is daddy's girl and he wrote the checks so what don't think its fair to blame her.
GuyFleegman1 More than 1 year ago
East Billy...the horse went east to Dutrow and Dutrow ruined him
Billy Spathanas More than 1 year ago
East , yes , East. My bad .Thank you Guy...
Michael D More than 1 year ago
some horses like west coast and some flourish on east coast. They sent to NY to try and try to become a top handicap horse there, it didnt work out but Dutrow before ban is a strong horseman and always was. Ellis does a great job with RT and back in his barn, before you say Dutrow only won because of drugs, you are wrong he was one of the best and his family are all strong trainers. He was one of Frankels best friends and won some huge races.