Bourbon Bay, fresh off a convincing win in the Cougar II Handicap (gr. II), returns to turf in the $200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) Aug. 28 in San Diego.
The Sligo Bay gelding will carry top weight of 121 pounds in the 1 3/8-mile race, which drew six and is the first of three graded stakes on Del Mar’s Sunday card.
In only his second try on a synthetic surface in 20 starts, Bourbon Bay rolled by 2 3/4 lengths in the July 29 Cougar II at Del Mar. The 6-year-old is cross-entered in the TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I) later in the day but is expected to go in the Del Mar Handicap.
Bourbon Bay is a four-time grade II winner on turf, including the San Marcos Stakes in January. He has won seven times overall and earned $684,424 for owners David and Jill Heerensperger. Trainer Neil Drysdale has assigned Joe Talamo to ride once again.
Also entering off a graded stakes victory is Coudelaria Jesica’s Imponente Purse. The Brazilian-bred 5-year-old came from off the pace to win the July 17 Sunset Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf for his first stakes success. It was also the bay gelding’s first win in eight starts in 2011. Chantal Sutherland will ride for A.C. Avila.
Seeking his first stakes win is Michael Jawl’s Celtic New Year, who has been graded stakes-placed in his last three tries. The 4-year-old North Light gelding was third to Imponente Purse in the Sunset and before that was runner-up in the grade I Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap. Victor Espinoza will have the mount for John Sadler.
$200,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 3, 2 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 3/8 Miles (Turf) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Make Music for Me (KY), R Bejarano, 115, A Barba
2. Medici Code (GB), M A Pedroza, 113, D Vienna
3. Bourbon Bay (KY), J Talamo, 121, N D Drysdale
4. Celtic New Year (KY), V Espinoza, 114, J W Sadler
5. Soul Candy (CA), J Rosario, 115, P Gallagher
6. Imponente Purse (BRZ), C Sutherland, 117, A C Avila