Updated on 09/15/2011 1:45PM

Sadler rich in talent for major races


DEL MAR, Calif. - With his 3-year-olds going well on both turf and dirt and a sprinter who has already won a graded stakes this summer, trainer John Sadler will be busy in the second half of the Del Mar meeting.

Sadler has potential starters in both of this weekend's major races - Dr. Park in Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-olds on turf and Ceeband in Sunday's $150,000 Pat O'Brien Handicap for sprinters. On Sept. 1, Palmeiro, the winner of an allowance race on Saturday, will start in the El Cajon Stakes.

Of the three, Ceeband has been the biggest surprise of the year, pulling off an upset at 44-1 in the Grade 2 Triple Bend Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 1. The 4-year-old Ceeband will not be that price in the Pat O'Brien.

In the Triple Bend, Ceeband stalked a torrid pace and caught front-running Squirtle Squirt to win by a half-length.

"He's got to have pace," Sadler said. "Realistically, I thought that was a big pot, and there was a lot of speed. The way it turned out was perfect. We were ecstatic."

The seven-furlong Pat O'Brien is the final graded sprint stakes of the meeting. The other probables include El Corredor, Figlio Mio, Lexicon, and Swept Overboard.

Dr. Park is already a stakes winner at this meeting, having won a division of the restricted Oceanside Stakes on opening day, July 18. The form was flattered on Sunday when Euribor, the runner-up, returned to win an allowance race. Sadler says that Dr. Park is not a definite starter and may be held out for the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 3.

In the La Jolla, Dr. Park is expected to face Bayou the Moon, Marine, Romanceishope, and Sea to See.

"I want to have a few days to decide," Sadler said. "Our goal is the Del Mar Derby. Does it work out better to run three times at the meeting? It's three good races in six weeks. I think I have the best horse."

Palmeiro ran second in two graded stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year, but was given the late spring off after finishing eighth in an allowance race at Hollywood Park on May 14. In Saturday's third race over 1 1/16 miles, he led turning for home, was passed by Kinshasa in midstretch, but fought back to prevail by a head.

"He pulled himself up when he made the lead," Sadler said. "He kind of gets bored. We should give him a target."

Sadler said Palmeiro will reappear in the El Cajon Stakes, a restricted stakes for 3-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles on Sept. 1.

"I think it's the perfect race for him," Sadler said. "Then, we'll go out of town with him."

'Michelle' happy in small pond

Happy Michelle, the winner of a maiden race for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday, may be the top juvenile in trainer Paul Aguirre's, but he is not ready to try her against the circuit's leaders.

After Happy Michelle won by a length over 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.88, Aguirre said her long-term goal was the $100,000 Barretts Debutante at Fairplex Park on Sept. 15 and not the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante on Aug. 26.

Happy Michelle was purchased for $250,000 at the Barretts 2-year-olds in-training sale last March.

"I thought it would have been nice just to hit the board," Aguirre said. "She's bred to run two turns on the turf, which is something I want to do later. I'm thinking small right now. Later, I'll think big."

5-year-old maiden winner 'special'

Marty and Pam Wygod bred three of the winners at Del Mar on Saturday, and one of them, a 5-year-old maiden winner named Tribal Rule, is so well regarded that Marty Wygod considers him a Breeders' Cup Sprint candidate.

Tribal Rule won a six-furlong maiden race by eight lengths in 1:08.82. In the sixth race, Smart Start, owned by the Wygods, won a maiden race for fillies and mares over 6 1/2 furlongs by 2 1/2 lengths. Later, Mega Gift ($79.60), owned by Pursang Corp., pulled an upset in a $20,000 claimer.

"It was good to have three winners," Marty Wygod said. "Days like that don't happen too often."

Wygod said that Tribal Rule will have one more start at this meeting and then run in the $250,000 Forest Hills Handicap over six furlongs at Belmont Park on Oct. 7, 20 days before the Breeders' Cup is run there. Saturday's maiden win was just the second start from the Storm Cat horse.

"He fractured a hind leg when he was young," Marty Wygod said. "We put pins in and when he came back the fracture reopened and we had to send him back home. He's something really special, which everybody knows now."

Lanni joins Del Mar board

J. Terrence Lanni, the chairman of MGM Mirage, has joined the board of directors at Del Mar. Lanni, 58, is a member of the board of directors of Santa Anita, and its parent company, Magna Entertainment.

Lanni is also a racehorse owner who shared ownership of Silic, the 1999 Breeders' Cup Mile winner, during his career; and Ladies Din, the winner of the 1998 Del Mar Derby, who is still in training.

Lanni's appointment is the first change on the Del Mar board since Martin Wygod was elected in 1999.

Notable Career nears 2001 debut

Notable Career, a two-time stakes winner as a 2-year-old in 2000, is nearing her 3-year-old debut.

Trained by Bob Baffert for Golden Eagle Farm, Notable Career worked six furlongs in 1:12.40 on Sunday, her second recorded workout at Del Mar this summer. By Avenue of Flags, Notable Career won the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Stakes and Grade 3 Landaluce Stakes last year. She has not started since finishing fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies last November.

* David Flores will miss the upcoming week of racing to ride in Europe. Flores will ride the Shergar Cup, a jockey's competition, at Ascot, England, in Saturday. On Sunday, he rides in Sweden. According to his agent, Jim Pegram, Flores will return to Del Mar on Aug. 15.

Go to Del Mar coverage.