Cambina, beaten a nose last time out in the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Betfair Hollywood Park, rates a slight edge against five older fillies and mares Aug. 12 in Del Mar's John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT). The nine-furlong race, which will be run for the 55th time where the Surf Meets the Turf, is worth $250,000.
Cambina, a 4-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Hawk Wing racing for A. Bilich, Cline, and Schmitt, figures to be favored along with Eric Kronfeld's Nereid, winless in three starts this year…but dead-heated with Cambina for the win in last year's American Oaks (gr. IT).
Completing the Mabee line-up will be Gerald Gibbs' All Star Heart, with Brice Blanc up; Charles N. Winner's Imperialistic Diva, Patrick Valenzuela; L-Bo Racing, Pyle, and Summer of Fun Stable's Go Forth North, David Flores; and DeBurgh, Hollendorfer and DeDominico's City to City, with Corey Nakatani aboard. Any of the six could come away with the victory and it wouldn't be a shocker.
Jeff Bonde trains Cambina, a strong, closing type of filly. She rallied to run second at Santa Anita Park in April in the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at 10 furlongs. Last summer at Del Mar she closed from nine lengths back to finish fourth, beaten just two lengths, in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) at the Mabee trip.
Nereid, trained by John Shirreffs, will wear blinkers for the first time as she seeks to get back on a winning track. As a 3-year-old, she was third in the Del Mar Oaks, beaten just a half-length. Going a mile last time out in the Royal Heroine Mile Stakes (gr. IIT), Nereid was fourth, beaten just 1 1/2 lengths by Quiet Oasis.
Both Cambina and Nereid will tote 121 pounds along with City to City.
All Star Heart had a three-race winning streak ended when she finished eighth and last in the Royal Heroine Mile. She scored in the one-mile Las Palmas Stakes (gr. IIT) last November and won an optional claiming affair over the Del Mar Turf last summer. The 5-year-old Ontario-bred is a daughter of Arch–Gift of the Heart, by Ascot Knight.
Go Forth North owns the best record over the Del Mar turf, sporting a 2-1-1 slate from five starts. The 5-year-old North Light mare won the Sandy Blue Handicap in 2010 and was second, beaten a neck, in the Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) that season. Last year she ran fifth in the Mabee and third in the Palomar, beaten a combined 2 1/2 lengths.
City to City is a grade II winner this year, having taken Santa Anita's Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) in March. Last year she annexed the Palomar. She comes into this year's Del Mar meet off a fourth in the Gamely (gr. IT) and a seventh-place finish in the Royal Heroine.
The Mabee carded as the eighth of nine races with an approximate post time of 5:30 p.m. PDT.
John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT), 1 1/8 miles, turf, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, Del Mar, $250,000, race 8, post 5:30 PDT.
PP, Horse, Jockey, Wgt., Trainer
1, All Star Heart, B. Blanc, 119, R. McAnally
2, Imperialistic Diva, P. Valenzuela, 119, S. Callaghan
3, Cambina, G. Gomez, 121, J. Bonde
4, Nereid, J. Talamo, 121, J. Shirreffs
5, Go Forth North, D. Flores, 119, A.C. Avila
6, City to City, C. Nakatani, 121, J. Hollendorfer