Bobby Frankel sends Miesque winner Louvain into Saturday's San Clemente 'Cap.

Bobby Frankel sends Miesque winner Louvain into Saturday's San Clemente 'Cap.


Memorette, Louvain Battle in San Clemente

(from Del Mar stable notes)
Memorette, yet to win in 2005 while piling up earnings of $243,932, is among 14 3-year-old fillies entered for Saturday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) at one mile on the Del Mar turf. Ten will go to the post.

The multiple Grade I performer Memorette and 120-pound highweight Louvain, winner of the Flawlessly at Hollywood Park July 4, figure to draw most of the attention.

Memorette made her turf debut in the American Oaks (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park July 3, finishing sixth.

In spite of Memorette's failure to win in seven tries this year, she has amassed by far the most earnings in the field. Trainer William Currin was emphatic Thursday morning about her chances.

"I'm looking to win a race Saturday," he said. "She's very sound, she's very happy, and I expect her to run the best race of her career."

During the year, Memorette, who broke her maiden last year at Del Mar, has run in five grade I events, finishing second in two of them and third in one.

"She had a Grade I race won – she had Sharp Lisa beat (in Santa Anita's Las Virgines Stakes) – but then turned around and let Sharp Lisa beat her in the end.

"I expect her to win," Currin added. "As soon as she wins this, I expect to turn right around and come back and win a Grade I."

She'll have a tough customer to beat in the Bobby Frankel-trained Louvain, who was invited to the American Oaks but skipped in favor of the the one-mile Flawlessly. The Edmund Gann Irish-bred cruised to a 1 1/2-length win in 1:34 2/5 as the 9-5 favorite under Victor Espinoza, who has the return call in the San Clemente.

Louvain, who began her career in France where she won once in five starts, has three wins in eight tries overall and earnings of $154,983. She began her U.S. career with a victory in the one-mile Miesque (gr. IIIT), also at Hollywood, in November. She finished sixth in the Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) prior to her effort in the Flawlessly.

The second, third, and fourth-place finishers in the Flawlessly – Royal Copenhagen, Island Escape and Conveyors' Angel – all return in the San Clemente, a major stepping stone to the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Aug. 20.

$150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 8, 5:35 p.m.), 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile (turf)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Louvain (IRE), 120, Victor Espinoza
2. Island Escape (KY), 117, Garrett Gomez
3. Tivadare (FR), 116, Mike Smith
4. She's a Jewel (FL), 116, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
5. Salsa Brava (IRE), 117, Corey Nakatani
6. Thatswhatimean (MD), 118, David Flores
7. Memorette (CA), 119, Kent Desormeaux
8. Royal Copenhagen (FR), 117, Patrick Valenzuela
9. Conveyor's Angel (FL), 118, Alex Solis
10. Shining Energy (KY), 117, Rene Douglas
Also Eligible
11. Silver Stage (FL), 115, Tyler Baze
12. Royal Wave (KY), 115, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
13. Silver Wand (KY), 115, Garrett Gomez
14. Isla Cozzene (KY), 115, Jon Court