Point Determined Tries Turf in Del Mar Derby

(from Del Mar notes)
Robert and Beverly Lewis Trust's Point Determined makes his turf debut Sunday when he faces nine rivals in the $400,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) for 3-year-olds on the Del Mar turf Sunday.

Trained by Bob Baffert, Point Determined, a son of Point Given  , put in a sharp half-mile work for the 1 1/8-mile test over the Jimmy Durante course Friday morning in :47 1/5. He worked in company with 4-year-old Devil's Bay.

Point Determined finished ninth in the 2006 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), the best showing of Baffert's three runners. The Maryland-bred colt returned to Southern Califoronia to win the Affirmed Handicap (gr. II) and finish second to Arson Squad in the Swaps Breeders' Cup (gr. II), both at Hollywood Park. Jorge Chavez has the call.

The X-factor in the race would be trainer Bill Mott's Union Avenue, winner of the American Derby (gr. IIT) on the Arlington Park turf July 22. The son of Gone West, owned by WinStar Farms, shipped to Del Mar from Mott's Churchill Downs string on Monday and has tested the main track each day since then.

Corey Nakatani, who has won four turf stakes so far at Del Mar this season, including the John C. Mabee (gr. IT) and Eddie Read (gr. IT) handicaps on Del Mar's first weekend, has the mount.

Kenny McCarthy, in charge of Mott's Churchill stable for the past two years, said, "After he ran so well at Arlington, we thought this race fit really well. It gave him more than a month before he had to run again."

Entering the race off victories over the Durante course are Lightning Hit and Obrigado, winners of the two divisions of Del Mar's traditional opening day feature, the Oceanside Stakes.

Ron McAnally conditions Lightning Hit and Neil Drysdale saddles Obrigado.

Alex Solis, who rode both Oceanside winners, stays with Obrigado in the Derby. Lightning Hit gets David Flores.

Porto Santo, trained by Julio Canani, was a fast-closing second to Obrigado in the Oceanside and to A.P. Warrior in the La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT). Victor Espinoza rides.

Another who has run well on the Del Mar grass is Get Funky, who finished third in his Oceanside division and the La Jolla, and gets Jose Valdivia, Jr. in the saddle for trainer John Sadler.

$400,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Rateau (KY), Aaron T. Gryder
2. Obrigado (FR), Alex O. Solis
3. Presidential Cause (KY), Tyler Baze
4. Get Funky (FL), Jose Valdivia, Jr.
5. Lightning Hit (IRE), David R. Flores
6. Icy Ridge (IRE), Jon K. Court
7. Nonsensical (FL), David Cohen
8. Union Avenue (VA), Corey S. Nakatani
9. Point Determined (MD), Jorge F. Chavez
10 Porto Santo (FR), Victor Espinoza
Each assigned 122 pounds.

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