Misty Ocean, 'Sizzle Back for 'Clemente
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 7/23/2008 8:05:54 PM
Last Updated: 7/26/2008 2:00:00 PM

Honeymoon Handicap winner Misty Ocean faces runner-up Bel Air Sizzle once again in the San Clemente.
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Photo: Benoit
Misty Ocean and Bel Air Sizzle, the first two finishers in last month's Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT), will be among the favorites in an evenly matched field for the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar July 26.

Ten 3-year-old fillies are entered in the one-mile turf event, the major local prep stakes for the $400,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 16.

Misty Ocean looked great in her front-running triumph in the 1 1/8-mile Honeymoon at Hollywood Park June 7, fighting back after being headed in the stretch to defeat the charging Bel Air Sizzle by three-quarters of a length. But the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee didn't get the best of the draw for the San Clemente. She will have to break from the far outside with a short run into the clubhouse turn.

The daughter of Stormy Atlantic  , owned by Jim Plemmons, is probably the hottest filly in the race, however. She is currently on a three-race win streak, including back-to-back stakes victories. Joel Rosario returns to ride Misty Ocean, who shares the high weight assignment of 119 pounds with Bel Air Sizzle.

Bel Air Sizzle returned from her runner-up effort in the Honeymoon to run a troubled ninth in the American Oaks (gr. IT) July 5. The daughter of Unusual Heat never made a move in the Oaks after being squeezed at the start and dropped back to the rear of the field. Trained by Barry Abrams, Bel Air Sizzle has won three times on the turf this year while finishing in the money in six of nine starts. She tries a new jockey, Alex Solis, this time replacing Rafael Bejarano.

The Irish-bred Missit turned in a strong effort in the 1 1/4-mile American Oaks, leading the field in the stretch before weakening to fifth. Trained by Ben Cecil for Three Chimneys Racing, the Orpen filly should find the San Clemente distance much more suited to her ability. She won the one-mile Providencia (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita from just off the pace in her U.S. debut April 5. Missit, to be ridden again by Victor Espinoza, followed her victory by finishing fourth as the favorite in the Honeymoon.

Three fillies -- Seattle Smooth, Storm Mesa and Tasha's Miracle -- will be trying the turf for the first time after enjoying success on dirt or synthetic surfaces.

Storm Mesa overcame a stumbling start to lead at every call while posting a one-length win in the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows in her last start June 27. The Bret Calhoun trained daughter of Sky Mesa   has won four in a row since breaking her maiden at Fair Grounds in March. Regular rider Eddie Martin Jr. has the call.

Tasha's Miracle put in a valiant effort while finishing third -- beaten by just a head -- in the Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) over Cushion Track June 8. A grade III winner over Del Mar's Polytrack surface last summer, the Harlan's Holiday filly is trained by John Sadler for Budget Stable and Team Valor.

Seattle Smooth, a six-length winner of the Bay Meadows Oaks for trainer Julio Canani in April, comes off a third-place finish in the Black-Eyed Susan (gr. II), where she caught a muddy track at Pimlico May 16.

Canani also saddles Mini Do, making her stakes debut after consecutive wins for owner Everest Stables. The most recent win was April 30 in an an optional claiming race at Hollywood over six furlongs on grass.

Sensational Love, a War Chant filly, seeks to turn around a four-race tailspin for trainer Neil Drysdale.

$150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 9, 6 p.m.), 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Missit (IRE), 117, Victor Espinoza
2. Storm Mesa (KY), 116, Eddie M. Martin, Jr.
3. Sensational Love (KY), 113, David R. Flores
4. Bel Air Sizzle (CA), 119, Alex O. Solis
5. Tasha's Miracle (FL), 118, Mike E. Smith
6. Seattle Smooth (KY), 116, Michael C. Baze
7. Mini Do (KY), 113, Tyler Baze
8. Grace Anatomy (KY), 115, Martin Garcia
9. Hopehopehope (KY), 112, Joseph Talamo
10. Misty Ocean (KY), 119, Joel Rosario
Also Eligible
11. Comeback Queen (GB), 110, Brice Blanc


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