Shippers Wasted Tears, on a six-race winning tear, and Gozzip Girl, making her first appearance in Southern California since winning last summer's American Oaks (gr. IT), head the field for the $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) over Del Mar's turf course Aug. 15.
Among the local hopes in the field of eight older fillies and mares in the 1 1/8-mile test are recent Hollywood Park grade winners Gotta Have Her, who was second in last year's Mabee, and Turning Top, who has won four in a row.
The Mabee, reduced this year to a grade II after enjoying grade I status since 1985 (when it was known as the Ramona Handicap), is the eighth race on the Del Mar card with a 5:30 p.m. PDT post. For the winner, the race carries a starting berth to the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) Nov. 5 at Churchill Downs.
Wasted Tears has won all four of her starts in 2010, including graded stakes triumphs in her last three races for Bart Evans, who bred, owns and trains the Southwest-based 5-year-old daughter of Najran--Wishes and Roses, by Greinton.
The front-running mare began the year with a pair of wins on the Gulfstream Park turf, including a half-length triumph in the one-mile Honey Fox Stakes (gr. IIIT) Feb. 20. Her next start, in the 1 1/16-mile Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland April 10, produced a half-length win over Forever Together. On May 31, she returned to Lone Star Park for a repeat victory in the one-mile Ouija Board Handicap (gr. IIIT) by a neck.
Based at Retama Park in preparation for her return to action, Wasted Tears lured Rajiv Maragh, who was aboard for the Wiley win, west for the ride. Wasted Tears has won 10 of 15 lifetime starts and won $558,598. She will be going nine furlongs for the first time in her career while breaking from the rail.
Farnsworth Stables' Gozzip Girl seeks her first victory since taking the July 2009 American Oaks at Hollywood Park by more than three lengths as the favorite.
A three-time graded winner last year, the well-traveled 4-year-old daughter of Dynaformer has been slow to get it going so far this year. Now in the barn of trainer Marty Wolfson, she was previously conditioned by Tom Albertrani.
Gozzip Girl has started twice in 2010. She lost her rider after stumbling at the start of the New York Stakes (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park June 19. She then ran a willing fourth in the 11-furlong Robert G. Dick Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Delaware Park July 17.
Julien Leparoux makes the trip from New York to ride Gozzip Girl, a five-time winner in 12 starts overall with earnings of $809,194. They drew post 7.
Michael Tabor's Irish-bred Turning Top has been on her game since transferring from Great Britain for the 2010 season under the care of Simon Callaghan. The 4-year-old daughter of Pivotal has won four of six in the U.S. including the Redondo Beach Stakes and the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood in her past two starts. She won the 1 1/4-mile Beverly Hills in stalking style, getting the lead in deep stretch and holding by one length. Brice Blanc retains the mount.
Gotta Have Her is coming off a half-length score in the Royal Heroine Mile Handicap (gr. IIT) as the favorite July 3 at Hollywood and has also known success at Del Mar, where she has two wins and two seconds in six starts. The hard-knocking 6-year-old mare not only ran second in last year's Mabee, finishing one length behind Magical Fantasy, she returned to capture the 1 1/16-mile Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) by a neck three weeks later.
Trained by Jenine Sahadi for Green Lantern Stables, Gotta Have Her boasts a career mark of 9-7-4 in 27 races with field-leading earnings of $972,608. Mike Smith fills in for the injured Tyler Baze.
Also in the field is Lilly Fa Pootz, winner of the restricted 1 1/16-mile Osunitas Stakes in her last start July 21 over the Del Mar turf.
Spring Style, wheeling back in a week after her fourth-place finish behind Zenyatta in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (gr. I), is a $2,500 supplemental entrant for the Mabee.
Grade II winner Princess Haya ran fourth in the Beverly Hills last time. Oui Say Oui steps into stakes company for John Sadler.
$250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Wasted Tears (KY), R Maragh, 121, B B Evans
2. Lilly Fa Pootz (KY), J Rosario, 119, J Hollendorfer
3. Spring Style (IRE), P A Valenzuela, 119, B D Cecil
4. Gotta Have Her (KY), M E Smith, 121, J Sahadi
5. Turning Top (IRE), B Blanc, 119, S Callaghan
6. Princess Haya (TX), R Bejarano, 121, C O'Callaghan
7. Gozzip Girl (KY) J R Leparoux, 121, M D Wolfson
8. Oui Say Oui (IRE), V Espinoza, 119, J W Sadler