Led by millionaire Ballingarry and near-millionaire Continental Red, a field of 10 grass specialists is set for Sunday's $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 3/8 miles on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Joining the top two Sunday are Escondido Handicap winner Bonus Pack, Mister Acpen, Irish Warrior, Mont Saint Michel, Like a Hero, Kim Loves Bucky, Continuously and Bonaguil.
Ballingarry has been assigned high weight of 119, including jockey Mike Smith, and he'll be giving his foes from two to nine pounds. Continental Red, who would go over the million-dollar mark in earnings with a victory, will carry 117, including Julie Krone. Getting in at the lightest weight will be Bonaguil at 110.
Ballingarry, a 4-year-old son of Sadler's Wells trained by Laura de Seroux with career earnings of $1.5 million from five wins, a second and four thirds in 15 lifetime starts, comes to the race from a very disappointing ninth-place finish in Saratoga's Sword Dancer Handicap (gr. IT) Aug. 9. Also coming from that race is Kim Loves Bucky, who finished seventh.
Continental Red has had a breather since his third place in Hollywood Park's Sunset Handicap (gr. IIT) July 20. The 7-year-old gelded son of Flying Continental has a lifetime record of seven wins, nine seconds and 11 thirds in 51 outings and earnings of $924,203.
The 5-year-old Bonus Pack, a son of 1993 Belmont Stakes winner Colonial Affair, picked up a nice come-from-behind win on the Del Mar lawn in the Escondido on Aug. 6 at the Del Mar Handicap distance.$250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT), 3 & up, 1 3/8 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Wgt., Jockey
1. Mister Acpen, 116, Victor Espinoza
2. Bonus Pack, 116, Corey Nakatani
3. Continental Red, 117, Julie Krone
4. Irish Warrior, 116, Alex Solis
5. Mont Saint Michel, 114, David Flores
6. Like a Hero, 114, Tyler Baze
7. Kim Loves Bucky, 116, Patrick Valenzuela;
8. Ballingarry, 119, Mike Smith
9. Continuously, 113, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
10. Bonaguil, 110, Goncalino Almeida