BC Turf Bid Up for Grabs in Del Mar Handicap
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 8/22/2012 8:59:33 PM
Last Updated: 8/25/2012 1:38:20 PM

Dhaamer won the Sunset Handicap at Hollywood Park on July 15.
Photo: Benoit Photo

An automatic berth in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) will be on the line when nine well-matched horses line up for the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 25.

Irish-bred Dhaamer and Argentine import Interaction, both major stakes winners in their careers, will pack the top weight assignment of 120 pounds apiece for the 73rd renewal of the 1 3/8-mile Del Mar Handicap. The race is part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge series and guarantees a place in the starting gate of the $3 million BC Turf to the winner Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park at 12 furlongs .

The Del Mar Handicap goes as the eighth race on the Saturday program with a projected 5:30 p.m. PDT post.

Dhaamer won the Round Table and Sunset (gr. IIIT) handicaps, both at  1 1/2 miles on grass, in his last two starts at Betfair Hollywood Park for trainer Mike Mitchell and owners Edward Brown Jr. and Jay Manoogian. Interaction, now trained by Ron McAnally, was runner-up to 2011 champion older horse Acclamation in the Eddie Read Stakes (gr. IT) over the Del Mar lawn July 21.

A 5-year-old gelding by Dubai Destination, Dhaamer will have Garrett Gomez aboard for his first start since taking the Sunset by 3 1/4 lengths July 15. The chestnut has won two of four starts with one second since transferring to the United States for the 2012 campaign.

Brice Blanc will handle Argentina-bred Interaction, winner of that nation’s biggest race, the Carlos Pellegrini (Arg-I), in 2009. The 6-year-old horse by Easing Along won an allowance optional claiming test over nine furlongs on the Hollywood turf prior to his effort in the Eddie Read. This will be Interaction's first try at the marathon distance.

Two others are stretching out after running last time in the Eddie Read, Casino Host (third) and Hog's Hollow (fourth) .

Gary and Mary West's Casino Host registered a half-length victory over a "good" turf in the $400,000 Mervin H. Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap (gr. IIT) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots April 1. The 4-year-old Dynaformer colt was trained at the time by Chad Brown and is now in the barn of Ron Ellis.

Derrick Fisher's 6-year-old homebred Hog's Hollow is seeking his first stakes win for trainer Paddy Gallagher.

Others looking to break through include stakes performers Worth Repeating and Dynamic Host, second and and fourth, respectively, behind Richard's Kid   in the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) on Del Mar's Polytrack July 27. Worth Repeating will race without Lasix for trainer Mike Machowsky.

Brushburn, trained by Steve Knapp for Albert and Kathleen Mattivi, ran second in the California Dreamin' Handicap for state-breds on the Del Mar turf July 22 in his first race in more than two years. Corey Nakatani has the call.

$200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Casino Host (KY), J Talamo, 119, R W Ellis
2. Temple's Door (KY), E Flores, 116, J Mullins
3. Worth Repeating (KY), M A Pedroza, 116, M Machowsky
4. Interaction (ARG), B Blanc, 120, R L McAnally
5. Hog's Hollow (KY), V Espinoza, 116, P Gallagher
6. Brushburn (CA), C S Nakatani, 116, S Knapp
7. Dhaamer (IRE), G K Gomez, 120, M R Mitchell
8. Dynamic Host (KY), D R Flores, 118, A Sherman
9. Fire With Fire (KY), M Garcia, 116, N D Drysdale



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