Banned comes to California for the Del Mar Derby<br><a target="blank" href="">Order This Photo</a>

Banned comes to California for the Del Mar Derby
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Mathea Kelley

Banned Tries His Luck in Del Mar Derby

Grade II-winning shipper faces a tough lineup of Southern California turf runners.

Shipping in from Arlington Park, Banned takes on some of the best turf runners in Southern California's 3-year-old division in the $250,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) Sept. 4.

A son of 2004 American turf champion Kitten's Joy , Banned races for Glen Hill Farm and trainer Tom Proctor. The grade II winner is coming off a fine third-place effort in the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Aug. 13.

Banned will face nine rivals in the Del Mar Derby, a 1 1/8-mile event that goes as the eighth race on the program. Post time is 5:30 p.m. PDT.

Bred in Kentucky by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, Banned posted back-to-back graded stakes victories on the Churchill Downs turf this spring. The bay colt won the American Turf (gr. IIT) in sharp fashion by 4 1/2 lengths on the Kentucky Oaks undercard, then returned to capture the Jefferson Cup (gr. IIIT) by two lengths Stephen Foster Stakes day June 18. He missed by a neck to Air Support in the Virginia Derby (gr. IIT) at Colonial Downs in his next start July 16.

Banned caught a yielding turf course in the Secretariat and was unable to make up much ground in the stretch, finishing 1 3/4 lengths behind the victorious Treasure Beach. Boasting a career mark of 4-1-2 in nine starts with earnings of $49,476, Banned drew post 7 for the Del Mar Derby and jockey Garrett Gomez sticks with him.

The first four finishers in the La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIT) at Del Mar Aug. 13 are set to take him on.

Arnold Zetcher's Midnight Interlude, in spite of his fourth-place finish as the 11-10 choice in the La Jolla, figures to take a lot of action again for trainer Bob Baffert. The Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner was blocked and steadied at mid-stretch in the La Jolla and never had the opportunity to close after stalking the pace into the lane. The War Chant colt drew the rail and will have Rafael Bejarano aloft once again.

Burns, who won the 1 1/16-mile La Jolla by a neck for trainer Barry Abrams for his first stakes victory, will break from post 9 with Patrick Valenzuela aboard. Madeline Auerbach's Unusual Heat gelding was a close second to the well-regarded Mr. Commons in the Oceanside Stakes to kick off the Del Mar meet July 20 and is in top form.

Proctor also entered Lil Bit O'Fun, who was a close second in the La Jolla thanks to a big finishing kick in his Southern California debut. The gelded son of Langfuhr  won the Oliver Stakes on a yielding turf at Indiana Downs June 15. David Flores has the return engagement.

Thirtyfirststreet set the pace in the La Jolla and lasted to deep stretch before finishing third, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Doug O'Neil trains the California-bred son of Good Journey for a partnership that includes breeder Jim Conway. Alonso Quinonez has the mount once again.

The Del Mar Derby also marks the stakes debut of Jerry and Ann Moss' homebred Cloud Man, who has been brought along cautiously by trainer John Shirreffs. The son of Thunder Gulch comes into the race off a 2 1/4-length victory over an optional claiming allowance field at 1 1/16 miles on the Del Mar turf July 22. He was second by a nose to Burns in an optional claimer at Hollywood Park prior to that. Joe Talamo rides.

Robert S. Evans' homebred Dreamy Kid, winner of Hollywood's Swap Stakes (gr. II) on Cushion Track July 9, makes his grass debut for trainer Neil Drysdale. The Lemon Drop Kid  colt ran seventh in the West Virginia Derby (gr. II) in his most recent start Aug. 6.

$250,000 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), 3-Year-Olds, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1. Midnight Interlude (KY), R Bejarano, B Baffert
2. Akkadian (KY), B Blanc,  J C Canani
3. Thirtyfirststreet (CA), A Quinonez, D F O'Neill
4. Extensive (FL), M Garcia, V Cerin
5. Cloud Man (KY), J Talamo, J A Shirreffs
6. Dreamy Kid (KY), J Rosario, N D Drysdale
7. Banned (KY), G K Gomez, T F Proctor
8. Lil Bit O'Fun (KY), D R Flores, T F Proctor
9. Burns (CA), P A Valenzuela, B Abrams
10. Great Warrior (BRZ), O A Berrio, A C Avila
All carry 122 pounds.
Blinkers Off: Akkadian, Thirtyfirststreet