Senor Swinger Leads La Jolla Field

Seven 3-year-olds with thoughts of the Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) dancing in their heads will tackle the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) at 1 1/16 mile on the northern San Diego County track's Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Headlining the field are the winners of the two divisions of the Oceanside Handicap, Devious Boy and Sweet Return, on opening day at Del Mar. Fairly Ransom and Singletary, runners-up in the Oceanside divisions, are also entered.

Perhaps the most interesting entrants, however, are Senor Swinger, a two-time turf stakes winner in Kentucky, and the highly touted Ministers Wild Cat, who was on the Triple Crown trail earlier this year.

Senor Swinger, who carries top weight of 120 pounds in the La Jolla, was bought by Robert and Beverly Lewis following the colt's run in the Florida Derby (gr. I), but was badly beaten in the Wood Memorial (gr. I) and was switched to the turf where he won the American Turf (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs May 2.

Trainer Bob Baffert decided to try him again on the main track in the Preakness Stakes, but he faltered there, finishing a well-beaten fifth. So it was back to the grass, and the son of El Prado scored in Churchill Downs' Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT). In his most recent race, he was fourth in the Virginia Derby July 12.

Ministers Wild Cat, owned by Marjorie and Irving Cowan and trained by Neil Drysdale, will be making his turf debut in the La Jolla. He is winless on the dirt in three starts since capturing the Golden State Mile at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 9. In his most recent outing, the son of Deputy Minister finished second in the Affirmed Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.

$150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT), 3-year-olds, 1 1/16 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Wgt., Jockey
1. Fairly Ransom, 117, Alex Solis
2. Stanley Park, 117, Goncalino Almeida
3. Senor Swinger, 120, Frank Alvarado
4. Ministers Wild Cat, 117, Victor Espinoza
5. Sweet Return, 117, Russell Baze
6. Singletary, 118, Patrick Valenzuela
7. Devious Boy, 117, Julie Krone

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