08/20/2007 11:00PM

Lots to like about Debie Ginsberg


DEL MAR, Calif. - There are reasons both practical and sentimental to root for Debie Ginsberg in Thursday's featured seventh race at Del Mar.

Debie Ginsberg is named for the late journalist who worked for the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association's trade magazine for more than 20 years. In four starts, Debie Ginsberg has won twice, including a victory last time out at Hollywood Park. Of the nine runners in the 6 1/2-furlong $64,000 optional-claiming race, she is clearly one of the leading contenders.

It has been nearly two months since that last victory, but that was not by design. Trainer Mike Machowsky intended to run Debie Ginsberg in a route race earlier this summer at Del Mar. "But she tied up, and I had to scratch her," Machowsky said. "She's been a little too keyed up, and I'm afraid going long on this track she wouldn't run as well. That's why she's in a sprint Thursday. So many horses who come here get nervous. They get the Del Mar heebie-jeebies. They're all keyed up.

"I came here with the whole intention of routing her. She was going to run long early in the meet, then come back in the Torrey Pines. But after what happened, we decided to scrap that and sprint her again."

Debie Ginsberg likes to stalk and then pounce, a style that has proven effective in main -track sprints this summer at Del Mar. But to prevail, Debie Ginsberg will have to hold off a host of late runners, including probable favorite So Long Sonoma, who was an unlucky loser against similar second-level allowance competition on Aug. 1.

So Long Sonoma fell a nose short going six furlongs, and now gets an additional 110 yards with which to work. She has finished second in all five of her starts this year, all as the favorite.

Excessiveobsession has the all-important win over the track, earned in a first-level allowance race on Julyo28. She figures to be forwardly placed.

"She's training really well," said Brian Koriner, who trains Excessiveobsession. "She loves the surface."

Sweet Ambition may have found an ideal spot after being claimed for $50,000 last time out. She is the only horse in the race eligible to be claimed for $62,500. She must overcome the rail, which has not been an ideal post sprinting on Polytrack.