Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) winner Carlsbad makes her turf debut as the 120-pound high weight in the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar Aug. 1.
The speedy Carlsbad, trained by Jeff Mullins, is part of a full field of 3-year-old fillies in the one-mile San Clemente, a key prep for the $350,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) on Aug. 22.
Transferred to Southern California by owner Dennis Weir after the diminutive filly demolished her competition in four starts in Arizona, the talented Carlsbad has hardly missed a beat. She won the Santa Paula (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 29 by more than three lengths, before a runner-up effort behind Witty in Hollywood Park's Railbird (gr. III) May 10, when she was defeated by 1 1/2 lengths.
Carlsbad bounced back with a game front-running win in the 1 1/16-mile Hollywood Oaks in her last race June 7, a Cushion Track event that she captured by a half-length.
The Arizona-bred daughter of Rocky Bar has been favored in all seven of her races, winning six times while earning $264,125. Tyler Baze, who has ridden Carlsbad in all of her California starts, retains the mount. They will break from post 4 while spotting her nine opponents between two and five pounds.
California-bred Strawberry Tart has won back-to-back stakes since being switched to the grass following a fifth-place finish in the Railbird for trainer Jeff Bonde. Owned by George and Mary Clare Schmitt, the daughter of Atticus popped a 13-1 surprise when she came from off the pace to score a 2 1/2-length win in the Manhattan Beach at six furlongs June 5. She used a simlar late move one month later to score a half-length triumph as the favorite in the one-mile Flawlessly Stakes. Martin Garcia retains the mount.
Others in the field coming out of the Flawlessly are the Irish-bred Starlarks (fourth), an allowance winner earlier in the meet at Hollywood, and Oilgonewile (ninth), a stakes winner at Gulfstream Park in January.
Trainer Doug O'Neill is hoping that grade II winner Acting Lady finds her comfort level again with softer company after finishing a well-beaten fifth in the American Oaks (gr. IT) over 10 furlongs at Hollywood July 5. The Theatrical filly ran second in the 1 1/16-mile Honeymoon (gr. IIT) prior to that and won Santa Anita's Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) April 4.
Internallyflawless makes her seasonal debut for trainer Bob Baffert. The daughter of Giant's Causeway ran second in the one-mile Miesque (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park last fall before going to the sidelines following a last-place finish as the choice in the Blue Norther at Santa Anita Dec. 28.
Kaweah Princess, who won a stakes at Stockton fair June 27, has a three-race win streak for Jerry Hollendorfer. Recent English import Hameildaeme has won two of three U.S. starts for trainer Jamie Lloyd, including an optional claiming allowance heat in her most recent start June 18. Fastongrass ran third in the Manhattan Beach. Nan seeks to improve on her 10th-place showing in the American Oaks.
Irish-bred Wake Me Now is on the also-eligible list for trainer Gary Stevens.
$150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), 3-Year-old Fillies, 1 Mile (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Nan (KY), V Espinoza, 116, C Dollase
2. Fastongrass (PA), M A Pedroza, 115, J C Canani
3. Strawberry Tart (CA), M Garcia, 117, J Bonde
4. Carlsbad (AZ), T Baze, 120, J Mullins
5. Oilgonewile (FL), D R Flores, 117, M R Mitchell
6. Internallyflawless (KY), G K Gomez, 115, B Baffert
7. Kaweah Princess (KY), J Rosario, 115, J Hollendorfer
8. Starlarks (IRE), A O Solis, 116, P Gallagher
9. Acting Lady (KY), J Talamo, 118, D F O'Neill
10. Hameildaeme (GB), D Sorenson, 116, J Lloyd
11. Wake Me Now (IRE), A T Gryder, 114, G L Stevens