09/01/2010 3:17PM

Rigoletta supplemented to run in Debutante


DEL MAR, Calif. – It will cost $13,750 to supplement and start Rigoletta in Saturday’s $250,000 Darley Debutante at Del Mar.

Considering that owners Pavla and Erik Nygaard paid just $35,000 for Rigoletta at a 2-year-olds in training sale in April, the five-figure investment – a $10,000 supplemental fee and $3,750 in entry and starting fees – may be worth the gamble.

“We feel like it’s just tacking it on to her purchase price,” trainer Dan Hendricks said Wednesday.

Rigoletta’s maiden race win on Aug. 8, when she closed from fourth to win by 1 1/4 lengths over 5 1/2 furlongs, proved that the filly belongs in the Grade 1 Darley Debutante over seven furlongs. The maiden win was Rigoletta’s second start; she was fifth in a maiden race at Hollywood Park on July 15.

Since Hendricks began training Rigoletta in the spring, he has praised the filly’s mental approach to racing. By Concerto, Rigoletta has earned $30,820 for the Nygaards who race as Thor-Bred Stable.

“The first race woke her up and got her on her toes,” Hendricks said. “She acts like she wants to go.”

Hendricks did not nominate Rigoletta to the Darley Debutante when early nominations were taken in June.

“I bought her in April and the nominations were in June,” he said. “I’d barely got her to California by then.”

Rigoletta drew post 8 in a field of 12 in the Darley Debutante, which drew two stakes winners – Wickedly Perfect, who won the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes here Aug. 6, and She’ll Heir, who won the Cinderella Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 9 and was fourth in the Sorrento.

The entries also feature A Z Warrior and Izshelegal, who were second and third in the Sorrento, and the sharp maiden race winners Avid, Sugarinthemorning, and Tell a Kelly.

Hendricks was encouraged by Rigoletta’s running style in her maiden race win when she stalked the pace and took the lead in the final furlong.

“Hopefully, she’s better than all the others,” Hendricks said. ”We don’t need to be great, just better than the others.”

Road Ready retunring in Futurity

Road Ready, winner of the Lost in the Fog Stakes at Golden Gate Fields on June 12 in his career debut, will be trainer Jeff Bonde’s sole runner in the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday, the closing-day feature of the summer meeting.

Road Ready has not started since the Lost in the Fog Stakes over five furlongs but has worked steadily in recent weeks at Del Mar. Bonde said he was pleased with Road Ready’s seven-furlong workout in 1:27 on Aug. 27.

Sway Away, who finished second as the 3-2 favorite in the Grade 2 Best Pal Stakes on Aug. 8, will miss the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity because of a “wrenched knee,” Bonde said.

“We won’t see him for a little while,” Bonde said. “He’s a nice horse and I don’t want to miss him up.”

The Del Mar Futurity is led by J P’s Gusto, winner of the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Best Pal Stakes. The field also is expected to include Western Moon, who was third in the Best Pal Stakes, and the maiden race winners Clubhouse Ride, Indian Winter, McKenzies Way, and Premier Pegasus.

Smiling Tiger eyes path to BC Sprint

Smiling Tiger, winner of the Grade 1 Bing Crosby Stakes on Aug. 1 who was third in the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien Stakes last Saturday, will be pointed to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6, but Bonde has not decided on an approach to get there.

Bonde said the options include not starting Smiling Tiger until the BC Sprint, starting in the Ancient Title Stakes at the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting in early October, or running in the $250,000 Gallant Bob Stakes for 3-year-old sprinters at Parx Racing, previously known as Philadelphia Park, on Oct. 9.

“I’m not sure what we’ll do, one of those three options,” Bonde said.