Ashleyluvssugar won the Charles Whittingham Stakes on May 24 at Santa Anita.

Ashleyluvssugar won the Charles Whittingham Stakes on May 24 at Santa Anita.

Benoit Photography

Ashleyluvssugar Sweetens Del Mar 'Cap

Multiple graded stakes winners will fill the starting gate going 11 furlongs on turf.

Following an unproductive trip to New Jersey, Ashleyluvssugar returns to friendlier climes in Southern California and seeks to regain his form in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) going 11 furlongs Aug. 22 at Del Mar.

The 4-year-old son of Game Plan took home honors in the Charles Whittingham and San Luis Rey stakes (both gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park before running sixth in the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park. He is a stalker with a lively kick and has already defeated a couple of the horses he will meet again here as the 123-pound co-highweight with grade I winner Finnegans Wake .

Finnegans Wake, winner of the Turf Classic (gr. IT) at Churchill Downs in the spring as well as the San Marcos (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, looks to recapture past form. He has most recently finished fourth, fourth, and third in three straight grade I events on both grass and dirt. He will mount his move from well back in the field.

Ganesh, a Brazilian-bred and a group I winner in Argentina, finished just a half-length back of Ashleyluvssugar in the Whittingham and was also second in the Last Tycoon (gr. IIIT). He receives four pounds from the previously mentioned two.

Defending Del Mar Handicap winner Big John B, who won this race by 5 1/4 lengths last year, comes in off a two-race win streak, most recently at Del Mar in the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) on the main track. He finished well back in the Last Tycoon.

Power Ped was third, and then placed second via DQ, behind Finnegans Wake in the San Marcos, and finished immediately behind him in fourth in the Eddie Read (gr. IT). He, too, runs from off the pace. Little Jerry was well beaten in the San Marcos and most recently won an allowance optional claimer over the Del Mar grass on the lead.

Danas Best is a stakes winner in his native Australia. He was fifth behind both Little Jerry and Power Ped in his first Stateside effort at Del Mar. Flamboyant has tailed off recently and has shown little affinity for the Del Mar turf. Lideris also needs to pick it up off his current form.

Entries: Del Mar H. (G2T)

Del Mar, Saturday, August 22, 2015, Race 8

  • Grade IIT
  • 1 3/8m
  • Turf
  • $250,000
  • 3 yo's & up
  • 5:40 PM (local)
11Ashleyluvssugar (CA)Gary L. Stevens123Peter Eurton-
22Ganesh (BRZ)Flavien Prat119Richard E. Mandella-
33Flamboyant (FR)Alex O. Solis116Patrick Gallagher-
44Big John B (FL)Rafael Bejarano121Philip D'Amato-
55Little Jerry (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMartin A. Pedroza117Richard Baltas-
66Power Ped (KY)Tyler Baze116Neil D. Drysdale-
77Lideris (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateMario Gutierrez115Doug F. O'Neill-
88Finnegans Wake (KY)Victor Espinoza123Peter Miller-
99Danas Best (AUS)Joel Rosario116Philip D'Amato-