Happy Ticket runs next in Del Mar's Hirsch Handicap.

Happy Ticket runs next in Del Mar's Hirsch Handicap.

NYRA/Adam Coglianese

Happy Ticket to Run in Del Mar's Hirsch 'Cap

(from Del Mar notes)
Happy Ticket, ranked at the top of the nation's distaff division, is set to run in Del Mar's $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/16 miles Aug. 6.

The 5-year-old mare, whose sire Anet, won the 1997 Del Mar Derby (gr. IIT) for owner Donald Dizney and trainer Bob Baffert, is fresh from a hard-fought victory over another female star, Oonagh Maccool, in Churchill Downs' Fleur de Lis Handicap (gr. II) June 17. Happy Ticket defeated the previously undefeated 3-5 favorite, trained by Bill Mott, by a head in a classic stretch-long duel.

The Louisiana-bred Happy Ticket, trained by Andrew Leggio, Jr., for owner Stewart Madison, is to be flown to Southern California Aug. 2 to be bedded down in the barn of David Hofmans at Del Mar.

From his Louisiana Downs base in Bossier City, Leggio said Saturday that he plans to arrive on the following day.

Ace apprentice Julien Leparoux, the nation's leading rider by victories, has the mount on Happy Ticket, Leggio said. Leparoux rode Happy Ticket for the first time in the Fleur de Lis.

The victory at Churchill Downs was preceded by two heart-wrenching, neck losses to Round Pond in the Azeri Breeders' Cup (gr. II) and to Spun Sugar in the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I), both at Oaklawn Park.

"Those last three races were are great races. The only trouble is I only won one of them," Leggio said.

Happy Ticket boasts a record of 12 wins and four seconds in 17 career starts.