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E Z Warrior must rest his sore shin
DEL MAR, Calif. - E Z Warrior, the leader of the 2-year-old male division in California, will miss Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal Stakes because of a sore shin, trainer Bob Baffert said Monday.
The injury will keep E Z Warrior out of racing for the remainder of the Del Mar meeting, Baffert said. He mentioned the $500,000 Champagne Stakes at a mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 14 as a long-term goal for E Z Warrior.
Owned by Zayat Stables, E Z Warrior won both of his starts at Hollywood Park earlier this year, including the Hollywood Juvenile Championship on July 4.
"He won't run this weekend," Baffert said. "It's baby stuff."
E Z Warrior would have been favored in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes, which is run at 6 1/2 furlongs.
Baffert will have two starters in the Best Pal - Hot Flame and Mr. Negotiator. Hot Flame was ninth in the Hollywood Juvenile after finishing third in the Malcolm Anderson Stakes at Bay Meadows in June. Mr. Negotiator won a $100,000 claiming race for maidens on July 21, his third start.
Other probable starters are Cobalt Blue, Divide and Conquer, Great Hunter, Principle Secret, and Stormello.
Divide and Conquer worked five furlongs in 59.60 seconds on Monday.
Ace Blue iffy for Pacific Classic
Ace Blue, the runner-up in the Hollywood Gold Cup, is doubtful for the $1 million Pacific Classic here on Aug. 20 after failing to impress trainer Jerry Hollendorfer in recent training.
Hollendorfer said Monday that he is "on the fence" whether to run Ace Blue in the richest race of this meeting. "He's not training up to 100 percent of his capability," Hollendorfer said. "It's been like this for seven or eight days. He's not taking to the track and he's a little body sore."
Ace Blue galloped on Monday.
The Pacific Classic field will be led by Lava Man, who breezed a half-mile in 47.80 seconds on Sunday, his first workout since winning the Hollywood Gold Cup for the second consecutive year on July 8.
Trainer Doug O'Neill said that Lava Man will have one more workout before the Pacific Classic. Lava Man was ridden by exercise rider Tony Romero and galloped out five furlongs in 1:01.
"He galloped out full of energy," O'Neill said. "You can tell the way he trains that he is different than most."
Aside from Lava Man, the probable starters in the Pacific Classic are Giacomo, Good Reward, Magnum, Papi Chullo, Preachinatthebar, Perfect Drift, and Super Frolic.
Super Frolic, third in the Hollywood Gold Cup, worked five furlongs in 1:00.80 on Monday. Trained by Vladimir Cerin, Super Frolic was fourth in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Belmont Park last October.
Preachinatthebar, second by a head to Giacomo in the San Diego Handicap, was added to the list of probable starters on Monday.
Yet another breakdown
Sheriff Jordan, an allowance-class 4-year-old trained by Richard Mandella, was euthanized on Monday after suffering a leg injury following a workout.
He is the 10th horse to be euthanized as a result of injuries during racing or training since this meeting began on July 19. Four of the horses suffered injuries during training.
The injury occurred just past the finish after Sheriff Jordan worked six furlongs in 1:11.20, the fastest of seven recorded works at the distance.
Owned by Diamond A Racing, Sheriff Jordan had one win in four starts.
Chavez coming to West Coast
Jorge Chavez, who won the Eclipse Award as the nation's outstanding rider in 1999 and won the 2001 Kentucky Derby on Monarchos, is moving to Del Mar later this month.
Chavez, 44, will begin riding at Del Mar on Aug. 16. He will ride through this Sunday at Monmouth Park, according to his agent, Danny Mellul.
Chavez ranks seventh in the standings at Monmouth. He has ridden sporadically this year after suffering a broken collarbone at Calder last winter. Initially, Chavez expected to miss eight weeks, but the injury kept him out of action until the spring.
In a brief phone conversation on Sunday, Chavez said he has wanted to ride in Southern California and has decided to make the move.
"I've always wanted to ride there," he said from New Jersey. "I hadn't had the opportunity and this is the time to do it."
Garcia's suspension days piling up
Apprentice jockey Martin Garcia has amassed nearly as many days of suspension as victories at this meeting.
Through Sunday, Garcia was tied for third in the standings with 16 wins. He has received 13 days of suspension from three rulings for careless riding.
Garcia has not served any of the days. He is appealing the suspensions, according to his agent, Roger Olguin, and will be allowed to continue riding until the cases are heard.
The latest suspension was issued on Sunday, a five-day penalty for causing interference in the stretch of Saturday's second race. Garcia rode Surging Desire, who finished third. The stewards conducted an inquiry into the race but did not change the order of finish.
Garcia was given a three-day suspension for failing to maintain a straight course on July 22 and five days for the same infraction on July 28.
Giacomo's sibling wins on turf
Falcon Scott, a half-brother to 2005 Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo, won a maiden race on turf on Saturday. Falcon Scott, 3, was making his second start.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Falcon Scott ($10.40) ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.60, drawing off through the stretch to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Trained by John Shirreffs for Jerry and Ann Moss, Falcon Scott was a well-beaten fourth in a maiden race on dirt at Hollywood Park on June 11.
Falcon Scott will remain on turf and may have another start before the meeting ends on Sept. 6, Shirreffs said. "He's proven that the grass is his surface," Shirreffs said.
Vet fined for false report
Veterinarian Helmuth Von Bluecher was fined $750 on Friday for falsifying a report regarding the administration of a Lasix shot in July, according to Del Mar stewards.
Von Bluecher gave a Lasix shot to Kalookan Lessie three hours and 43 minutes before the Fleet Treat Stakes at Del Mar on July 23, according to steward Scott Chaney. Lasix shots must be administered four hours to post.
Kalookan Lessie was scratched from the Fleet Treat Stakes by trainer Gus Headley after he was notified of the violation, Chaney said.
Ochoa becomes journeyman
Jockey Juan Ochoa's term as an apprentice ended on Sunday.
Fourth in the jockey standings at the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting earlier this year, Ochoa had four wins from 83 mounts at Del Mar through Sunday.
Ochoa, 23, has been suspended three racing days - from Sunday through Wednesday - for careless riding aboard Prowling Cat in the fourth race last Saturday.
* Nakatani and jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. were each fined $500 by Del Mar stewards on Monday for an altercation in the jockeys' room after the California Dreamin' Handicap last Friday. Neither rider figured in the finish. Nakatani rode Jack's Wild, who finished sixth, while Arroyo rode last-place finisher Jet Iron.