The $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 23, the first of five Breeders' Cup Challenge races at the seaside track this weekend, marks the 2008 debut of the 9-year-old multiple graded stakes winner Runaway Dancer.
Controlling the tempo from the outset, Zappa galloped to an easy victory in the $150,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar July 30 and earned a starting slot in the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon at Santa Anita this fall.
Odds-on choice Big Booster moved closer to a potential run at the inaugural Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon this fall, lumbering to victory over three outmatched rivals in the first Gallant Man Handicap over 1 5/8 miles on the Hollywood Park Cushion Track.
Trainer Mike Mitchell says he's not worried about the unusual 1 5/8-mile distance of the first $100,000 Gallant Man Handicap June 1, and with good reason. After all, his horse, Big Booster, recently proved a convincing winner of the the even longer San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT).
A quintet of newcomers, two of them trained by Bobby Frankel, is among a field of eight contesting the $250,000 Turf Cup (gr. I) on the Hollywood Park grass course Dec. 8.
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