Norman Ships Top Commander for Crosby

(from Del Mar notes)
Trainer Cole Norman, who captured the 2003 Bing Crosby Handicap (gr. I) when he shipped Beau's Town to the seashore, will be represented by Top Commander in Sunday's edition of the six-furlong stakes.

Top Commander, who arrived at Del Mar Tuesday, is the second of two Crosby contestants to ship in for the race. The other, Churchill Downs Handicap (gr. II) winner Battle Won, worked a sharp half-mile Tuesday in :47 3/5, with leading rider Patrick Valenzuela up. Valenzuela has the call Sunday for the $300,000 Crosby, being run for the 60th time in honor of one of Del Mar's co-founders.

Top Commander won the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park April 15.

The two invaders will have plenty to contend with in the form of Pico Central - considered by many the top sprinter of 2004 when he won $1.1 million - Areyoutalkintome, Stormin' Lyon, Taste of Paradise, Greg's Gold, and the 3-year-old Storm Wolf.

Pico Central, who won three grade I events and one grade 2 last year, and finished fourth in Dubai's Golden Shaheen in his only start this year, has been assigned high weight of 123. He will spot his foes from seven to 11 pounds. Battle Won and Areyoutalkintome, at 116, get seven pounds from Pico Central, and Greg's Gold will be the low weight at 112.