09/03/2011 1:25PM

Del Mar: Sheer Talent stays home for Del Mar Futurity


DEL MAR, Calif. – For much of the past month, trainer Dan Hendricks debated whether to send his promising 2-year-old Sheer Talent to Calder for a late August stakes or stay in California for Wednesday’s $250,000 Del Mar Futurity.

Logistics forced Hendricks to try the local race.

“I was serious until I couldn’t get shipping arrangements,” Hendricks said. “That changed everything. We stayed home.”

In the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity over seven furlongs, Sheer Talent will get a stern test. The field of eight is led by the undefeated Creative Cause, who won the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 7, and Majestic City, who won two stakes during the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting – the Willard Proctor Memorial and the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship.

Sheer Talent, who races for a partnership, has the experience of one start, a maiden race win over six furlongs on July 30 as an 18-1 outsider.

“I didn’t really expect that,” Hendricks said. “It looked so tough on paper. I thought he’d run well and we’d get a handle on where he’s at. He won professionally. Nothing bothers him.”

Sheer Talent was ridden by Victor Espinoza, who has the mount on Wednesday. In the maiden race, Sheer Talent stalked the pace to the turn, took the lead near the eighth pole, and won by a half-length. Hendricks said the colt has shown progress in recent weeks, enough to justify a $10,000 supplemental entry fee for the Del Mar Futurity. Hendricks is optimistic that his clients will get that money back.

“He’s been more mature in his works,” Hendricks said. “He’s had time between races. I’m hoping that we’ll third or better and we can go forward.”