Sharp Samurai wins the Twilight Derby at Santa Anita Park

Sharp Samurai wins the Twilight Derby at Santa Anita Park

Benoit Photo

Sharp Samurai Back to Del Mar for Hollywood Derby

Gelding won a pair of graded stakes at the seaside racetrack over the summer.

After watching Sharp Samurai's standout score in the Twilight Derby (G2T) at Santa Anita Park, trainer Mark Glatt admits he had second thoughts.

He didn't think Sharp Samurai was quite ready for the Breeders' Cup, but after watching the 3-year-old First Samurai  gelding win so impressively a week before the World Championships, he couldn't help but wonder how his trainee would have fared.

"Up until his performance before the Breeders' Cup, I think it would have been ambitious to think he fit," Glatt said of Sharp Samurai, who he owns in partnership with Red Baron's Barn and Rancho Temescal. "But given his performance in the Twilight Derby, it made me think a little bit. I didn't dwell on it, but it sure crossed my mind."

The 2 3/4-length Twilight Derby score was the best race of Sharp Samurai's career—and against his toughest competition yet—but it also didn't come out of nowhere. It was his fourth straight stakes win, including tight scores over the summer at Del Mar in the La Jolla Handicap (G3T) and Del Mar Derby (G2T).

NOVAK-CROSBY: Sharp Samurai Sharper Than Ever in Twilight Derby

Sharp Samurai will hit the Del Mar turf once again in the $300,000 Hollywood Derby (G1T) Nov. 25. Five from the Twilight Derby will be back to challenge in the Hollywood Derby—Big Score (second), Bowies Hero (third), Channel Maker (fourth), Just Howard (sixth), and Ann Arbor Eddie (seventh).

"He's really developed into something quite nice, and his races at Del Mar were really wide—(jockey) Gary (Stevens) just wanted to get him into the clear," said Glatt, who also saddled Blackjackcat to a third-place run in the Breeders' Cup Mile (G1T). "He gave up a lot of ground in those races. I thought those wins down there were easier than they looked on paper."

New faces in the Hollywood Derby crowd are graded winners Mo Town and Souper Tapit, who are both invading from the East Coast.

Coolmore and Team D's Mo Town earned his graded stakes on the dirt at Aqueduct Racetrack in the 2016 Remsen Stakes (G2), but went winless in four starts following that effort until the Uncle Mo  colt found new life in his first start on grass Oct. 12. In an optional-claiming allowance at Belmont Park, Mo Town stalked the early pace and blew away six others to win by 6 1/2 lengths at odds of 7-2.

Live Oak Plantation's homebred Souper Tapit got his graded victory in the May 28 Marine Stakes (G3) on the Woodbine synthetic. He returned from a nearly five-month layoff to run seventh in the English Channel Stakes (his first turf try) and most recently finished third in an optional-claiming allowance Nov. 11 at Aqueduct, but both trips featured plenty of trouble.

The second turf race on Del Mar's final Saturday card of the fall is the $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3T) for 2-year-old fillies. Thirteen are entered for the one-mile turf test, including stakes winners One Fast Broad, Raucous, Multiplayer, and Fatale Bere. Fatale Bere, who won her U.S. debut in the Oct. 9 Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita, finished fifth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) last time out, 2 1/2 lengths behind winner Rushing Fall.

Entries: Hollywood Derby (G1T)

Del Mar, Saturday, November 25, 2017, Race 7

  • Grade IT
  • 1 1/8m
  • Turf
  • $300,000
  • 3 yo
  • 3:30 PM (local)
11Ann Arbor Eddie (CA)Mario Gutierrez122Doug F. O'Neill20/1
22Bowies Hero (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateKent J. Desormeaux122Philip D'Amato6/1
33Channel Maker (ON)Keeneland Sales GraduateJavier Castellano122William I. Mott5/1
44Sharp Samurai (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateGary L. Stevens122Mark Glatt5/2
55Ritzy A. P. (KY)Drayden Van Dyke122Dan Blacker20/1
66Souper Tapit (FL)Jose Lezcano122Mark E. Casse12/1
77Mo Town (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez122Anthony W. Dutrow3/1
88Just Howard (MD)Keeneland Sales GraduateFeargal Lynch122H. Graham Motion12/1
99Big Score (KY)Flavien Prat122Tim Yakteen4/1

Entries: Jimmy Durante S. (G3T)

Del Mar, Saturday, November 25, 2017, Race 9

  • Grade IIIT
  • 1m
  • Turf
  • $100,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 4:30 PM (local)
11Casino Red (IRE)Rafael Bejarano120Patrick Gallagher12/1
22Daddy Is a Legend (PA)Keeneland Sales GraduateJoe Bravo120George Weaver9/2
33One Fast Broad (CA)Corey S. Nakatani122Mick Ruis12/1
44Lexington Grace (IRE)Gary L. Stevens120Ian Kruljac15/1
55Raucous (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateFlavien Prat124Christophe Clement5/1
66Multiplayer (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateTyler Baze120Tim Yakteen20/1
77Ever So True (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateJohn R. Velazquez118Peter Miller12/1
88Deep Breath (IRE)Tiago Josue Pereira120Eoin G. Harty20/1
99Sappho (IRE)Kent J. Desormeaux120Philip D'Amato15/1
1010Just a Smidge (KY)Keeneland Sales GraduateDrayden Van Dyke120Bob Baffert15/1
1111Data Dependent (KY)Javier Castellano120Chad C. Brown6/1
1212Thewayiam (FR)Feargal Lynch120H. Graham Motion6/1
1313Fatale Bere (FR)Mike E. Smith124Leonard Powell4/1