08/27/2010 4:06PM

Next road trip will take Blind Luck to Philly Park

Barbara D. Livingston
Blind Luck (left), winning the Alabama at Saratoga, will journey to Philadelphia Park for the Fitz Dixon Cotillion on Oct. 2.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Blind Luck’s two trips across the United States this year have resulted in the two biggest wins of her career, and pushed her to the fore of the 3-year-old filly division.

Following her most recent win in the $500,000 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 21, Blind Luck’s travels will continue in coming months.

Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has two road trips planed for Blind Luck – a journey to Philadelphia Park for the $750,000 Fitz Dixon Cotillion Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Oct. 2 and the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5.

“I don’t think it’s such a hard schedule for her,” Hollendorfer said. “She’s the sort of filly that recovers quickly.”

Blind Luck was shipped back to Del Mar following her win in the Alabama and will train in Southern California in advance of the Grade 2 Cotillion, which is run over 1 1/16 miles.

The Alabama was the fifth Grade 1 win of Blind Luck’s career, and her third this year, preceded by the Las Virgenes Stakes at Santa Anita in February and the Kentucky Oaks at Churchill Downs in April. Hollendorfer, who co-owns Blind Luck with Peter Abruzzo, John Carver, and Mark Dedomenico, said the Alabama is the single performance in the filly’s 13-race career that stands out. Blind Luck has won nine races and earned $1,878,712.

“I think she proved a little more because she ran a mile and a quarter,” he said. “I think the Alabama would be her best race.”

Fall plans for Acclamation, Bourbon Bay

Acclamation and Bourbon Bay, who accounted for five graded stakes wins in Southern California turf marathons from February to June, are not part of Sunday’s $200,000 Del Mar Handicap but are expected to return to racing in early fall.

Acclamation, who won the Grade 2 Jim Murray Handicap in May and the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap in June, is being pointed for the $250,000 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at Hollywood Park in early October.

The Grade 1 Hirsch Turf Championship is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf. Trained by Don Warren, Acclamation has lost twice since the Whittingham, finishing ninth in the Grade 1 United Nations Handicap at Monmouth Park on July 3 and sixth in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar on July 24. Owner Bud Johnston said he now regrets the decision to start in the Eddie Read.

“When I ran him here on turf, he probably wasn’t quite recovered from the trip back east,” Johnston said. “And, he came out of that race with a small bruise [in a foot]. I probably got a little anxious to run him. He’s got all his weight now.”

Bourbon Bay has not started since winning the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap over about 1 3/4 miles on turf at Santa Anita in April, a victory preceded by wins in two Grade 2 handicaps over 1 1/2 miles on turf – the San Luis Obispo in February and the San Luis Rey in March.

Trainer Neil Drysdale had considered the Del Mar Handicap for Bourbon Bay’s summertime comeback, but said the race “came up a bit too quick for him.”

Drysdale said the $650,000 Northern Dancer Breeders’ Cup Turf Stakes at Woodbine on Sept. 19 or the $500,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at Belmont Park on Oct. 2 are options for Bourbon Bay, who races for Dave and Jill Heerensperger.

The long-range goals for Bourbon Bay are the Breeders Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6 or the Japan Cup at Tokyo Racecourse on Nov. 28.

Koriner may ship pair to Keeneland

Recent Del Mar stakes winners California Flag and Sweet August Moon may be bound for Keeneland this fall on their way to intended starts at the Breeders’ Cup in November, trainer Brian Koriner said.

Koriner said if the two horses are sent to Keeneland they will be based there through October.

California Flag, who won the Green Flash Handicap over five furlongs on turf on Aug. 18 in his first start since March, is being considered for the $100,000 Woodford Stakes over 5 1/2 furlongs on turf on Oct. 9 as a prep for the BC Turf Sprint, a race he won at Santa Anita last year.

Sweet August Moon won the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap over 6 1/2 furlongs against three opponents on Aug. 22, her second consecutive stakes win. She won the Grade 2 A Gleam Handicap over seven furlongs at Hollywood Park on July 17.

Koriner said two Keeneland races on Oct. 9 are possible for Sweet August Moon – the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America over six furlongs and the $400,000 First Lady Stakes over a mile. Koriner is leaning toward the First Lady Stakes, and then starting Sweet August Moon in the BC Filly and Mare Sprint over seven furlongs.

“The Breeders’ Cup is over seven furlongs, so do I try to sharpen her speed?” Koriner said. “It would be interesting to see how she does at a mile. She’s calmed down since I tried her going long earlier in her career.”