Krone Draws Baffert's Horse in Match Race

(from Del Mar track notes)
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will start from the rail aboard Summer Mayberry's Chester's Choice and Julie Krone will be aboard Bob Baffert's Woke Up Dreamin in Sunday's "Battle of the Sexes" match race at Del Mar.

The blind draw for post position was conducted in a special ceremony this morning in the track's paddock/walking ring by racing officials Tom Robbins and Rick Hammerle, and the choice of horses was made in another blind draw by the riders. Julie Krone, second in the jockey standings at Del Mar, pulled the name out of the holder and got the Baffert colt, leaving Mayberry's trainee to the meet-leading Valenzuela.

The two riders spent most of their time with the assembled media complimenting one another as skilled riders and supreme competitors.

Of Valenzuela, Krone said, "Pat's really good out of the gate and he's a terrific speed rider. Maybe we'll be going head and head all the way around. We've been head and head down the stretch many times this season. Before we came out Pat said to me, 'Wouldn't it be fun if we dead-heated?'"

Valenzuela's commented, "It's an honor for me to ride in this race against Julie. She is a great athlete, the world's best woman rider. She's made a mark for herself in this sport. She's in the Hall of Fame and belongs there. She is quite a good horseman.

"This will be a great race for all of us. It'll be great for the public and great for racing."

Both trainers had their say, too. Mayberry said of Chester's Choice, owned by Robert Rupert: "He broke his maiden here, winning handily. He just sat off the pace and then came around (the field) and went on to win."

Baffert acknowledged that Woke Up Dreamin, owned by Mike Pegram, probably would show more speed in the race, coming off of a sprint. "But I wish they were going a mile instead of a mile and a sixteenth," he said. "That could give Summer's horse a little advantage. It will be a rider's race as far as strategy goes."

Del Mar morning line maker Jeff Tufts installed Woke Up Dreamin as the 2-5 favorite with Chester's Choice at even money.

Each horse will carry 118 pounds and the race will be run as the fourth on the 10-race card. The winner's share of the $50,000 purse money will be $35,000, and the runner-up will get $15,000.

There will be win wagering only, but the race will be part of daily doubles, Pick 3s and the Place Pick All. In the case of the last named wager, the second horse must finish to be part of the Place Pick All. The race will not be a part of the Pick Six.

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