Many Can Make Case In Del Mar Handicap

(from Del Mar notes)
Laura's Lucky Boy and Sarafan, the first two finishers in the Escondido Handicap earlier this month, renew their rivalry in the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the turf Sunday.

A full field of 10, which includes eight stakes winners, are entered for what should be an entertaining edition of one of Del Mar's leading handicap races.

Laura's Lucky Boy, trained by Richard Mandella, gained the victory in the Escondido at Sunday's 11-furlong distance by disqualification of the winner Sarafan in a controversial call Aug. 3. They carry the top weight of 118 pounds apiece.

The 8-year-old Sarafan, a winner of more than $2 million in his career, isn't the oldest horse in the race. That honor goes to the veteran 9-year-old campaigner Continental Red.

Trainers Neil Drysdale, with Sarafan and Always First, and Bobby Frankel, with Continuously and Exterior, acccount for 40% of the field. Always First gives Drysdale a solid threat to go along with the stretch-running Sarafan. The 4-year-old son of Barathea comes to the race from a victory in Hollywood Park's Sunset Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT).

For Frankel's pair, winning has not come easy. Exterior, owned by Juddmonte Farms, is one for five since coming to the Frankel barn from England, and Continuously, owned by Saud bin Khaled, hasn't won since being put up by disqualification in the 2003 Hollywood Turf Cup (g.r. IT).

Runaway Dancer, runner-up in the Sunset following a solid victory in the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap (gr. IIIT) also at Hollywood Park, figures to be a major threat in the turf marathon.

Of the 10 horses in the body of the race, only two will be pursuing their first stakes victories – Kilkea Castle and Leprechaun Kid. Each will carry low weight of 113 pounds,

$250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT), 3 & up, 1 3/8 miles (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Runaway Dancer, 117, Garrett Gomez
2. Continuously, 114, Jon Court
3. Kilkea Castle, 113, David Flores
4. Leprechaun Kid, 113, Tyler Baze
5. Always First, 115, Victor Espinoza
6. Exterior, 116, Patrick Valenzuela
7. Continental Red, 115, Rene Douglas
8. Outta Here, 113, Kerwin John
9. Laura's Lucky Boy, 118, Corey Nakatani
10. Sarafan, 118, Alex Solis.
Also eligible
11. Habaneros, 113, David Flores
12. Noble Masterpiece, 111, Mike Smith