Millionaire and multiple grade I winner Richard's Kid will be conceding from three to 10 pounds to his rivals as he tops the six-horse field entered in the Cougar II Handicap (gr. III) at Del Mar July 27.
The seventh race on the card, the 1 1/2-mile Cougar II has a probable post time of 7 p.m. (PDT).
Trained by Bob Baffert for Zabeel Racing International Corporation, Richard’s Kid is coming off a closing second to Game On Dude in the grade I Hollywood Gold Cup. Previous to that July 15 test, the 7-year-old son of Lemon Drop Kid stalked the early pace before taking over and drawing off to a 7 1/4 length romp in the Prove It Stakes after being returned to the barn of trainer Bob Baffert.
The winner of 10 of 34 career starts and earner of $1,926,360, Richard’s Kid was one of the top handicap horses of 2010 when he won back-to-back grade I stakes in the Pacific Classic and Goodwood Stakes for Baffert. The Maryland-bred horse closed out that season with a trip to Dubai, finishing 12th in the Emirates Airline World Cup (UAE-I). Off for nearly a year, Richard’s Kid began this season in Dubai again, where he was unplaced in three starts at Meydan before his return to the U.S. and the trainer who had conditioned him for the biggest wins of his career.
Richard’s Kid carries top weight of 123 pounds including jockey Rafael Bejarano in the Cougar II.
Ex-claimer Dynamic Host, who was the best of the rest behind Richard’s Kid in the Prove It, will carry 120 pounds in the Cougar II and again will have the services of David Flores. A 6-year-old gelded son of Dynaformer, Dynamic Host was claimed for $40,000 at Del Mar last August. Under his new ownership that consists of a group consisting of trainer Art Sherman, Zvika Akin, Greg Avery, and Bill Wilbur, Dynamic Host has won or placed in six of eight starts, highlighted by a victory in the Tokyo City Cup (gr. III) at Santa Anita March 24.
One of the most intriguing entrants in the Cougar II is Fly Lexis Fly, trained by Neil Drysdale for Stud Dona Licha. Bred in Kentucky by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the 3-year-old son of Badge of Silver has made five starts, with three victories, all in Peru. Based on two wins in group I stakes, including the Derby Nacional, Fly Lexis Fly was named champion 2-year-old colt in Peru. With Garrett Gomez named to ride, Fly Lexis Fly gets in light, with 113 pounds, in the Cougar II as he makes his U.S. debut and first start since last November.
$100,000 Cougar II Handicap (gr. III, Race 7, 7 p.m.), 3YO & Up, 1 1/2 Miles (All Weather Surface)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Richard’s Kid (MD), R Bejarano, 123, B Baffert
2. Romp (ARG), M Garcia, 114, K Mulhall
3. Worth Repeating (KY), M E Smith, 115, M Machowsky
4. Dynamic Host (KY), D R Flores, 120, A Sherman
5. Balladry (KY), J Talamo, 115, E G Harty
6. Fly Lexis Fly (KY), G K Gomez, 113, N Drysdale