08/02/2012 3:46PM

Del Mar: Switch going a route again in Clement Hirsch

Barbara D. Livingston
Switch will stretch out to 1 1/16 miles in the Hirsch.

DEL MAR, Calif. – For a multiple stakes-winning millionaire, Switch has a recent void in her career. She has not won a graded stakes at a mile or farther since the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks in June 2010.

It certainly has not been for a lack of trying. She was second in three consecutive Grade 1 route races in California and Arkansas in the spring of 2011, and second to Zenyatta in the 2010 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Hollywood Park.

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With that in the past, trainer John Sadler is notably guarded about her chances in Saturday’s $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar. The Grade 1 Hirsch is run over 1 1/16 miles and is the championship race for the older filly and mare division at the meeting. Switch was third in the 2011 Hirsch as a heavy favorite. The Hirsch is a Win and You're In Race for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 2, meaning the winner will receive a guaranteed spot in the field with her entry fees paid and $10,000 in travel expenses.

The alternative to a start in the Hirsch is the $150,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap, a Grade 3 over 6 1/2 furlongs here on Aug. 19. That doesn’t suit Sadler’s interests.

“I’d be especially concerned about her at 6 1/2,” Sadler said. “I feel that’s a little short for her.

“You only have two choices down here. One is long and one is short. The one that is long has nice money and prestige.”

Owned by Lee and Susan Searing, Switch is part of a strong field of eight in the Hirsch, one of five graded stakes winners.

The Hirsch will be Switch’s first start in a two-turn race since the 2011 Hirsch. Last November, she was second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Churchill Downs. In her last start, she won her fifth stakes in the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap over seven furlongs at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Race strategy should work in Switch’s favor on Saturday. She tends to race near the front in two-turn races, and could follow the longshot Kayce Ace.

The race lacks a confirmed frontrunner. What it does include are accomplished fillies in Amani and Include Me Out.

Amani won 10 of 11 starts in Chile, and will be making her U.S. debut in the Hirsch. Now trained by Neil Drysdale, Amani won stakes at distances ranging from six furlongs to 1 3/8 miles.

Amani, by the Giant’s Causeway stallion Morning Raider, won nine stakes in Chile, including four at the Group 1 level. Drysdale said last week that Amani trains like a filly who races from off the pace.

While Amani’s form is a puzzle to American bettors, they can easily assess Include Me Out, who has been the top filly around two turns this year in Southern California.

Trained by Ron Ellis, Include Me Out had a three-race stakes winning streak interrupted with a second in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap over 1 1/8 miles at Hollywood Park on June 16. Include Me Out had a three-length lead at the eighth pole of that race, but tired visibly in the final furlong and was beaten 2 1/2 lengths by Love Theway Youare.

“I think the track was a little deep, and I don’t think that helped,” said jockey Joe Talamo, who rides Include Me Out. “I think she just got tired. I didn’t feel her pulling herself up. The other horse blew by me.”

Talamo was not thrilled by the rail draw or the presence of a newcomer such as Amani.

“We’ll see what kind of trip we’ll get,” he said. “It looks like there is a monster in there from Drysdale’s.

Chris Jones More than 1 year ago
On TVG today, just prior to race 5, Ron Ellis said that Include Me Out does not like synthetics and runs her best on dirt. He said that her class gets her the win on synthetics at times, but he is basically telling you not to bet his horse
Douglas Rutherford More than 1 year ago
While visiting the J . Sadler stables over this weekend : as much respect that I have for this out-fit : this G1 race is very hard too make a case for Who Can Not Win ! Out of those that seem very unlikely odds wise : #7 Star Billing looks to have that possibility of running very game in the closing stages . Even though going Turf to Synthetic has not been too swift for this connection : Yet , if you happen to have a SOLID Pick in this race : I would very seriously consider using #7 Star Billing as a Trifecta Superfecta play in the mix ! ( All / 1 / 7 ) ( All / 3 / 7 ) This race jus seems to have too many ? marks as for the Winner : in my opinion ! WHAT I WOULD SAY THOUGH S THIS : Del Mar 6th race : #1 Classic Legacy ( Solidly on Top ) 9 . 5 odss vs the likes of Include Me Out 2 - 1 and Switch 7 .2 in the Hersch ! 9 . 5 odds on Classic Legacy would be a gift from heaven ! Baffert is extreamly high on this race : though he believes a claim just may be in the making ! As the owners are very much aware of . Del Mar : 7th race #2 Capo Bastone : All I will say is ENJOY !
John More than 1 year ago
In the Marge Everett even though Include Me Out got to the line 1st she was an awful fast pull up with no gallop out. So I was set on trying to beat her last time . She had a perfect trip, looked like she gone then just stopped, she wasn't waiting on horses she stopped. Don't know what to do here as I didn't think Switch was all that either, she had a good set up for her style and that track that day.
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
Switch may have won her last but she looked far from impressive, she was drifting in and out, her action looked average to be nice and she was exhausted. Back to minor (if any) rewards for her.
Jordan More than 1 year ago
A little disagreement between Ellis and Talamo. Ellis has continued to insist that Include Me Out pulled herself up in the Vanity. Talamo now says she simply got tired going 9 furlongs up near a blazing pace. I've always seen it more like Talamo. Include Me Out had nothing the last eighth of the Vanity, turning in a personal fraction of 14+. Amani's presence is what really makes this race interesting. Also like seeing grade turfer, Star Billing, and grade 1 sprinter, Switch. Lots of class horses doing things a little out of their comfort zone(I include Amani making her N.A. debut).
Tom Shea More than 1 year ago
How to you even cap a horse like Amani ? Myself I'm sticking with Switch for this one.
Zakk W. More than 1 year ago
She's been very impressive, of course that was in Chile. She did beat Plaza de Indias by 25 lengths and that filly ran at Del Mar on July 29th in an allowance race on the turf, finishing 3rd by1 3/4 lengths. Gomez does take off Switch, he probably wasn't that impressed with her win in the A Gleam H. IMO this is just an average field, I hope Amani is the real deal............
Zakk W. More than 1 year ago
Amani has not raced since December of 2011, maybe she needs a race. Hopefully she won't run as bad as Drysdale's other horse, Fly Lexis Fly in the Cougar II H.