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Sweet Spot in Del Mar Opener

Twirling Candy headlines Oceanside; hat contest on tap for opening day.

A restricted stakes for 3-year-olds on the turf and the "The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest" on the slate in Southern California can only mean one thing: opening day at Del Mar is just around the corner. July 21 marks opening day of the 71th racing season of “Where the Surf Meets the Turf,” which figures to draw a huge crowd.

The opening day stakes action is the Oceanside Stakes at a mile on the turf. Restricted to non-winners of a sweepstakes this year, $100,000 is on the line for 10 3-year-olds. The lion’s share of the attention should be focused on the unbeaten Craig Family Trust’s Twirling Candy .

The son of 2003 Pacific Classic (gr. I) winner Candy Ride , Twirling Candy is a perfect two-for-two for trainer John Sadler. After breaking his maiden last November going seven furlongs in his debut, Twirling Candy crushed allowance foes by 73/4 lengths May 29 at Hollywood Park. He traveled the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:15.08. Just Magic, another Oceanside entrant, was third.

The Janet Armstrong-trained Just Magic bounced back June 24 taking a 11/16-mile allowance/optional claiming event over the synthetic surface at Hollywood by 3 3/4 lengths under Joel Rosario.

A colt with plenty of experience in the Oceanside is Hockley, Darley Stable’s son of A.P. Indy. Seventh last year in the Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland, Hockley broke through with his maiden score March 14 at Santa Anita at a mile on the turf. Last time out Hockley rallied to win an allowance/optional claimer June 11 at Hollywood. A length back in second was Oceanside entrant Very Fair.

Sharing the opening day stage is the "The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest, " making it’s 16th straight opening day at Del Mar. Hundreds of fans figure to wear their finest -- and sometimes outrageous – hat’s wear to compete for the contest's grand prize.
The categories: Most glamorous/racing theme; funniest/most outrageous; and best fresh flowers/all others. Contestants can enter from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the track's Plaza de Mexico just inside the main Grandstand entrance. The grand prize will be a pair of American Airlines vouchers for travel to any destination in the continental United States.

Oceanside Stakes, Del Mar, Wednesday, July 21, $100,000, 3-year-olds, restricted non-winners of a sweepstakes of $50,000 in 2010, one mile, turf, post time 5:30 PDT.

PP – Horse – Jockey – Trainer
1 – Face and an Ace – B. Blanc – J.P. Gonzalez
2 – Very Fair – M. Smith – J. Hollendorfer
3 – Twirling Candy – J. Rosario – J. Sadler
4 – Brady Blue Eyes – T. Baze – M. Glatt
5 – Hockley – D. Flores – E. Harty
6 – Macias – M. Garcia – B. Baffert
7 – Domonation – R. Bejarano – J. Sadler
8 – Just Magic – M. Pedroza – J. Armstrong
9 – Gallant Gent – V. Espinoza – C.Lewis
10- Killer Bear – F. Valdez – S. Knapp