07/15/2013 4:43PM

Del Mar: Undrafted, Den's Legacy head divisions of Oceanside Stakes

Barbara D. Livingston
Undrafted is the likely favorite in Wednesday's first division of the Oceanside at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, California – The stakes program for Del Mar 3-year-olds is all about turf, the preferred surface for both favorites Wednesday in split divisions of the Oceanside Stakes on opening day of the summer meet.

Undrafted is 2 for 2 on turf and the horse to beat in race 6. Den’s Legacy returns to turf for the first time since winning a Grade 3 last fall. He is favored in race 9.

Neither Undrafted nor Den’s Legacy – Joel Rosario rides both – are locks. The $100,000 Oceanside, restricted to nonwinners of a $50,000 route stakes this year, attracted an overflow of good 3-year-old grass specialists – 22 are entered, but only 10 can start in each division.

Undrafted crushed three rivals in a turf allowance race last month at Churchill Downs. He ships in for trainer Wesley Ward with a versatile style that should lead to a comfortable trip positioned behind front-runners Manando and Freakin Rocket.

His chief rivals include Gervinho, runner-up in a recent comeback and working well since for trainer Carla Gaines. Freakin Rocket crushed main-track sprinters twice this spring at Betfair Hollywood Park, but he has not raced on turf or around two turns.

The Oceanside is the first leg of a three-race turf series for 3-year-olds that includes the Grade 2 La Jolla Handicap on Aug. 10 and Grade 2 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 1. Others in race 6 include Southwest shipper Unfettered, who is 4 for 4, comebacker Examen, and claiming winner Greeley Awesome.

While the Oceanside first division is solid, the race 9 second division is better. Den’s Legacy, on the Kentucky Derby trail in spring, drops from a series of seven graded stakes appearances for trainer Bob Baffert; Joelito scored a sharp allowance win on May 30; Rosengold has won four straight, including three minor stakes.

With stakes winner Gabriel Charles, stakes-placed Pure Loyalty, and comebacker Rising Legend, the Oceanside second division would be a fine race even without a European. Unfortunately for the locals, a shipper might upstage them all.

Si Sage was purchased in France, arrived two weeks ago, and will make his U.S. debut in the Oceanside for trainer Darrell Vienna and owner Red Barons Barn.

“We liked him from the [video] tapes,” Vienna said. “He’s been doing quite well since he arrived. You never know how they will stack up against these horses.”

Based on his European form, Si Sage should stack up well. Runner-up by a nose in a stakes last out at Longchamp, Si Sage has three wins and five runner-up finishes in 11 starts.

“His races in France were very competitive,” Vienna said, adding that Si Sage trained over the Del Mar turf course Monday morning. He will be ridden by Rafael Bejarano.

Rosario is in town only for a day and rides both Oceanside favorites, Undrafted in race 6 and Den’s Legacy in race 9.

Rosario led the Del Mar standings three years from 2009-11. He has since relocated to the East Coast.

Rosengold enters with a four-race win streak for Julio Canani, while Gabriel Charles will make his first start since December. He was scratched from a scheduled comeback June 23 with a minor illness, but worked well since.

“The only question about this horse is whether he can go two turns or not, that’s still a question,” trainer Jeff Mullins admits. “He’s had time to grow and mature, so we’re hoping he can.”

Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
Undrafted is a great bet against in my opinion. Gabriel Charles in 2nd leg. Watch his grass race Breeders Cup weekend, it was fantastic. If he's ready and has some racing luck he shoud win and pay about 10$ bucks
Matt More than 1 year ago
Olympio and Garrett Gomez to blow up the Board on opening day! You're welcome in advance!!
edb More than 1 year ago
Rosengold wire to wire. Good to see 22 horses for a turf race. I think Den needs a little longer.
jttf More than 1 year ago
split divisions ? that happened last year in this event. are you sure this is in california ? good to see that the trainers cant wait to run their horses here. 22 turf horses. does this mean they have a good 3 year old turf division ? keeping my fingers crossed.
Forego137 More than 1 year ago
Good to hear Rosario making the trip for opening day at Del Mar, he's had a big year and continued success. He has a live mount in Undrafted for Westly Ward and should win his division, as for Den's Legacy he's a trier and can't be overlooked. Good luck to all at Del Mar............
Robynrokn More than 1 year ago
Check the Euro's times at a mile before jumping in and consider the probable firm turf. Form looks like 7f better distance for him.
Jorge More than 1 year ago
Joel is an awesome rider and perhaps the best one today. He is also a Class Act in my opinion. He rode one for us on a Grade II and missed 3rd place by less than a length and first thing out of his mouth when he came back was "sorry I cost us 3rd". He is not perfect, nobody is.
MICHEL More than 1 year ago
Just bet against all the Rosario horses and you are in for a big score
Gomez More than 1 year ago
How did that work out for you?
Rob Beaudoin More than 1 year ago
Gabriel Charles in 2nd division,
Biggar W More than 1 year ago
Joel will probably just stay back East now that he knows how you guys feel about him. He will be heart broken>