Trained by Christophe Clement for owner Martin Schwartz, the Kentucky-bred Satan's Circus raced in France previously, finishing fifth in the French Oaks (Fr-I) at Chantilly one month before her strong effort in the American Oaks. Satan's Circus has remained in Southern California since the July 5 race at Hollywood Park and has been training at Del Mar for the past few weeks.
"She is good to go," said Clement assistant Nicholas Bacharand, who has conditioned the classy daughter of Gone West--Delmonico Cat, by Storm Cat, on the West Coast.
Satan's Circus made a big move through the homestretch in the American Oaks but was outfought in the final strides by Pure Clan, who won by three-quarters of a length. Satan's Circus has won four times in nine starts.
Trainer Robert Holthus decided against shipping Pure Clan from Kentucky for a rematch with Satan's Circus.
The field the French filly will face in the nine-furlong test includes San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) victor Storm Mesa, on a five-race winning streak for trainer Bret Calhoun. A daughter of Sky Mesa owned by Richard L. Davis, Storm Mesa rallied spectacularly in Del Mar's San Clemente July 26 to win by 1 1/4 lengths in her initial turf try.
Regular rider Eddie Martin Jr. has the mount on the Mdwest shipper, winner of the Iowa Oaks (gr. III) at Prairie Meadows on dirt a month before the San Clemente.
Jim Plemmons' Misty Ocean ran third in the San Clemente after capturing the Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park July 26 for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The Stormy Atlantic filly should be dangerous on the front end with Joel Rosario aboard.
The Irish-bred Missit hasn't missed much for trainer Ben Cecil since transferring to the states from Great Britain for Three Chimneys Racing this spring. Winner of the Providencia (gr.IIT) in her first U.S. start April 5, the Orpen lass finished fourth in the San Clemente in her last start. She also ran fifth in the American Oaks after getting the lead in the stretch.
Lethal Heat, who defeated males in the Real Good Deal Stakes on Polytrack for California-breds Aug. 9, comes right back for trainer Barry Abrams, who also enters Bel Air Sizzle. Lethal Heat captured the Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) on Cushion Track June 8, but the versatile daughter of Unusual Heat has also won two of three starts on turf.
She broke her own Del Mar track record for seven furlongs in the Real Good Deal in a time of 1:21.95.
“She came out of the race great,” Abrams said, adding, “So far, so good. We plan to run Saturday.” Rafael Bejarano has the call.
French-bred Oceane Music, purchased privately about two weeks ago for Marsha Naify, makes her American debut for trainer John Shirreffs. She was undefeated in three starts in her native country.
PP. Horse, Jockey
1. Storm Mesa (KY), Eddie M. Martin, Jr.
2. Ginger Pop (KY), Richard Migliore
3. Lethal Heat (CA), Rafael Bejarano
4. Oceane Music (FR), Mike E. Smith
5. Magical Fantasy (KY), Alex O. Solis
6. Bel Air Sizzle (CA), Clinton L. Potts
7. Misty Ocean (KY), Joel Rosario
8. Satan's Circus (KY), Garrett K. Gomez
9. Missit (IRE), David R. Flores
10. Million Dollar Run (KY), Tyler Baze
Each assigned 122 pounds.