Updated on 09/17/2011 12:12PM

Talented trio end layoffs in turf race


DEL MAR, Calif. - The multiple stakes winners Designed for Luck, Mountain Rage, and Wooden Phone return from layoffs in a $70,000 allowance race Monday at Del Mar.

Even with their impressive past credentials, they will need top performances to compete with Decarchy and Denied, who have run well at this meeting.

Decarchy finished second by five lengths to Special Ring in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap on July 27. Denied has won three consecutive races in allowances or optional claimers, showing dangerous tactical speed in each win.

Designed for Luck, Mountain Rage, and Wooden Phone have raced with top-class competition in the past and are well-suited for a one-mile turf race.

Designed for Luck won the 2000 Ascot Handicap at Bay Meadows. He finished first in the Hollywood Derby but was disqualified and placed fifth for interference. Monday's race will be Designed for Luck's first start since he finished 11th in the Explosive Bid Handicap at Fair Grounds in March 2002.

Mountain Rage won four turf stakes from November 2001 to April 2002, but he has not started since October 2002. Trainer Bob Baffert said Mountain Rage underwent surgery last winter to have a bone chip removed from an ankle.

Baffert also starts Wooden Phone, the winner of the 2001 Strub Stakes and 2002 San Pasqual Handicap. Wooden Phone is making his first start since finishing last of seven in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Hollywood Park on June 14. Monday's race, the 18th of his career, is his first start on turf.

"He looks like he's coming around," Baffert said. "I like the way he worked the other day on turf."

Futurity hopefuls on undercard

Earlier in the program, a $54,000 optional claimer for 2-year-olds over 6 1/2 furlongs could produce a starter for the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 10.

Blairs Roarin Star, the runner-up in the Grade 2 Holly-wood Juvenile Championship on July 19, was entered for Sunday's Best Pal Stakes but is expected to scratch in favor of Monday's race.

Lucky Pulpit, a maiden winner on turf on July 17, will also be well-backed.