Top Three Del Mar Derby Contenders Work

Edited Del Mar notes
The top three prospects for the Sept. 5 grade II, $400,000 Del Mar Derby put in their final preparations for the race by working at the seaside track Monday.

Willow O Wisp, winner of Del Mar's La Jolla Handicap Aug. 13, and Becrux and El Roblar, winners of divisions of the track's opening-day featured Oceanside Stakes, put in their final works toward the Derby.

El Roblar, who followed his Oceanside win with a third place in the La Jolla, was clocked in 1:15.40 for 6 furlongs on the main track and Willow O Wisp and Becrux tested the turf course, where the Derby will be run, in their workouts.

Willow O Wisp, working in company with Designed for Luck, went six furlongs in 1:15.20 with Garrett Gomez up. Designed for Luck was clocked in 1:15.40 with Patrick Valenzuela in the irons. From trainer Vladimir Cerin, the work brought an enthusiastic, "Just perfect. He went the last quarter in 23 and 2. He's right on schedule."

A similar response came from Neil Drysdale on Becrux's seven-furlong work of 1:29.40. "I'm very pleased," Drysdale said, adding that the horse actually was just breezing. Del Mar's chief clocker, Gary Nelson, said the horse went off slow, covering the first five furlongs in 1:05.80, but finished very strongly.

Of El Roblar's work, trainer Richard Mandella said, "He went nice and easy, just the way we wanted him to. He's all set to roll now." The 3-year-old son of War Chant galloped out seven furlongs in 1:29.40 under regular rider Alex Solis.

Expected to be among those challenging the big three are Shamoan, Osidy, Tedo (a German-bred Italian stakes winner scheduled to ship into the United States today and spend two days in quarantine at Hollywood Park for new trainer Doug O'Neill), Orbits World; In Excelsis, Eastern Sand, and Orbits World.