07/24/2013 4:06PM

Del Mar: San Diego amends spot for Clubhouse Ride

Shigeki Kikkawa
Clubhouse Ride won the Grade 2 Californian (above), but then finished fourth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – As sharp as Clubhouse Ride was in winning the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on June 1, he was a disappointment when fourth in the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on July 6.

“It wasn’t his day,” trainer Craig Lewis said Wednesday.

Lewis plans to start Clubhouse Ride in Saturday’s $200,000 San Diego Handicap over 1 1/16 miles at Del Mar, hoping to see an improved performance that would justify a start in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 25.

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“We’ll know if he belongs on the 25th,” Lewis said. “If not, we’ll run someplace else.”

Owned by Nikolas Petralia and Six-S Racing Stable, Clubhouse Ride has won 4 of 29 starts and $989,520. The Californian was his first graded stakes win, and Lewis hopes the 5-year-old can replicate that performance in a small field in the San Diego.

Lewis is hopeful that the presence of the speedy 3-year-old Chief Havoc, winner of the Grade 2 Swaps Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 4, can provide an honest pace in the San Diego. In the Gold Cup, race winner Game On Dude set a slow pace, including an opening quarter-mile in 25 seconds, and won by a length over Kettle Corn.

“They went in 25 seconds,” Lewis said. “It speaks for itself.

“I’ll see if he’s tailed off or if circumstances dictated the outcome of the race.”

The Grade 2 San Diego is led by Paynter, winner of the Grade 1 Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park, who later overcame bouts with colitis and laminitis before returning to training over the winter. Paynter won his comeback in an allowance race over seven furlongs at Hollywood Park in June.

“I’d like to let him relax,” Lewis said of Clubhouse Ride. “With a reasonable pace, it will help him relax.”

Jordan More than 1 year ago
The 10 furlongs of the Gold Cup probably was not playing to Clubhouse Ride's strengths. And the pace was always going to make it difficult to catch Game on Dude. More troubling, however, is that Clubhouse Ride wasn't able to parlay a stalking trip rating just behind the slow pace into finishing 2nd; he wasn't able to hold off closer Kettle Corn, nor was he able to outfinish Sky Kingdom, a horse that was next to him most of the race(Sky Kingdom clearly tried to make things as difficult as possible for the 2nd choice, and the Baffert double teaming made the situation far from comfortable for Clubhouse Ride). And while 10 furlongs might not be Clubhouse Ride's preferred distance, in the 10f Big Cap he was able to make a bold move and was able to sustain it until the final sixteenth. My initial conclusion after the Gold Cup is that Clubhouse Ride's ambitious campaign finally caught up with him.He had been running frequently even before hooking up against Game on Dude for 3 consecutive races. Then, while Game on Dude rested, Clubhouse Ride was in an extra race, running in and winning the Californian. I certainly don't begrudge Lewis for taking another shot and hoping the race will indicate to him exactly what Clubhouse Ride's condition is. As long as the horse is traing well, then it is certainly possible the circumstances of the Gold Cup simply played against CR, and under better conditions he will be able to reproduce his top efforts.
Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
I think Painter is a better horse than The Dude.....No further explanation needed....
[removed] More than 1 year ago
This comment has been deleted
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
was that before or after withholding?
Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Don't feed the trolls!