By Emily Shields
The fall meeting at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club continues this weekend with the Saturday feature being the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes. Trainer Bob Baffert has three runners in the 6 ½ furlong sprint, including the maiden winner Heels Up.
A juvenile daughter of Twirling Candy, Heels Up drew outside the field of eight. She debuted over this course in August, running second behind today’s rival Varda, before scoring at Santa Anita under Victor Espinoza. That rider will be back aboard today on this $350,000 purchase.
Stablemate Varda scored impressively on debut, then stretched out to 1 1/16 miles in the Grade 2 Chandelier and ran second, beaten a long way, by another stablemate in Princess Noor. The daughter of Distorted Humor cost $700,000 and switches from Drayden Van Dyke to Abel Cedillo.
Van Dyke goes to Private Mission, a $750,000 daughter of Into Mischief. She scored at first asking at Santa Anita, going this trip and winning as the odds-on favorite. She showed the ability to sit just off the pace that day.
Challenging the top three will be the likes of Queengol and a quartet of maiden winners on the turf. Queengol scored here on debut September 5 as a 9-1 shot, then ran second as the favorite in the listed Anoakia Stakes for trainer John Sadler.
Miss Costa Rica broke her maiden on the grass sprinting here, then ran third, beaten 17 ½ lengths, in the Chandelier on the dirt. Flavien Prat will ride the Richard Baltas trainee.
Trainer Richard Mandella brings Astute, an expensive daughter of Speightstown for LNJ Foxwoods; she won at Santa Anita on the grass under Mike Smith, who is back again.
Doug O’Neill’s Plum Sexy starts from the rail, the daughter of Munnings was a 20-1 surprise when she scored on the Santa Anita grass by 3 ½ lengths.
Jeff Mullins-trainee Canoodling has stakes experience; she broke her maiden sprinting on the grass here then ran fifth in a pair of one-mile stakes races behind Madone. The daughter of Pioneerof the Nile will cut back in distance again under Umberto Rispoli.
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