STAKES DOUBLEHEADER FOR SATURDAY
Pomona, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2008) - In an effort this season to showcase the best horses on the grounds on the weekends when the biggest crowds are in attendance, Fairplex Park will offer a stakes doubleheader on Saturday, the $65,000 Bustles and Bows Stakes at 6 ˝ furlongs for 2-year-old fillies and the $65,000 Phil D. Shepherd Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds and up.
The 47th edition of the Bustles and Bows, carded as the fifth race on the 13-race program, drew a small field of five, including Dash Dot Dash, Amina, Chilliwack, Beaudacious Lady and Steam Iron.
On the strength of a solid effort in Del Mar's Sorrento Stakes early last month, Dash Dot Dash, who drew the rail, will rate as the horse to beat.
After defeating a strong maiden field at Hollywood Park in July, trainer Vladimir Cerin wheeled Dash Dot Dash back against some of the best 2-year-old fillies competing at the seaside track, including eventual Del Mar Debutante winner Stardom Bound.
"Her maiden victory was very professional," said Cerin, who is stabled at Santa Anita, "so we thought we would try tougher horses."
In the Sorrento Stakes Dash Dot Dash pressed a contested early pace into the stretch before tiring to sixth, beaten less than three lengths.
"She made a good move in the race and seems to be moving forward," explained Cerin.
Jockey Martin Pedroza will ride Dash Dot Dash, the 4-5 morning line favorite, for the first time in the Bustles and Bows. "Martin was on her for her last work (1:02 2/5 at Del Mar on Aug. 30)," said Cerin. "She seems to be doing fine. There are only five horses in the race, but five horse fields can be unpredictable, so I'll leave the strategy up to Martin."
After defeating maidens at Hollywood Park in June Amina also tried the Sorrento Stakes, but finished a distant eighth, while Chilliwack dominated $40,000 maiden claiming California breds wire to wire in her latest outing.
Steam Iron has been plying her trade in the claiming ranks and most recently finished a solid third in a $50,000 claiming dash at six furlongs.
Beaudacious Lady, who is co-owned, co-bred and trained by George Barr, has never raced, so she'll be making her debut in a stakes race. However, the daughter of Beau Genius is very familiar with the tight turns of Fairplex. She has been trained exclusively over the oval since last May.
The Phil D. Shepherd drew a field of six, including Austie, Frank The Barber, Norway House, Gregorian Bay, Freesgood and Tice.
Frank The Barber, winner of the 2007 Pomona Derby over a sloppy track, is the most accomplished entrant in the race, also having won the Garden State Handicap at Monmouth Park last October.
Benched from February of this year until August, Frank The Barber tuned up for the Shepherd Stakes with an also-ran effort in the Green Flash Handicap at five furlongs on turf at Del Mar. The one-two finishers in the Green Flash were multiple stakes winners Get Funky and Idiot Proof, who both have Breeders' Cup aspirations.
Gregorian Bay and Freesgood have both been facing solid competition in the optional claiming ranks at Del Mar, while Tice was claimed from his last start for $50,000 by trainer Jeff Mullins on Aug. 3. Tice finished last in the field of eight that afternoon, his first outing in 15 months.
Austie whipped $20,000 claimers sprinting in his most recent start, while the veteran 7-year-old Norway House has been working his way up the class ladder this year. A winner 10 times in 47 races, Norway House has banked $213,400 during his career.
PEDROZA ONE SHY OF 3,000 WINNERS
Martin Pedroza, the all-time winningest jockey at Fairplex Park with 519 victories, won the Del Mar's final race last Wednesday with Inspired Storm ($24.40) to move within one winner of a personal milestone---3,000 career victories.
Pedroza, who is seeking his 10th consecutive riding championship in Pomona, and 11th overall, has 11 mounts on today's 13-race program. Seven of his horses are morning line favorites, including Trevor's Clever at 3-1 in the featured $65,000 Jim Kostoff Stakes at 1 1/16 miles for 3-year-olds.
The Kostoff Stakes, formerly the Derby Trial Stakes, was renamed this season for Jim Kostoff, director emeritus since 2001, and chairman of the board of the L.A. County Fair Association for an unprecedented 18 years.
STAKES DOUBLEHEADER ON SUNDAY TOO
Six 3-year-olds will vie in Sunday's $65,000 Foothill Stakes at 6 ˝ furlongs, while seven fillies and mares will go to the post in the $65,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes at 1 1/16 miles.
The ultra quick Topper Shopper, third in last year's $148,000 Barretts Juvenile behind Nene and Guns On The Table, drew the rail in the Foothill Stakes. A winner of four of 11 career races with $219,926 in earnings, Topper Shopper, trained by Bill Spawr and ridden by Martin Pedroza, will vie for favoritism with Winsome Charm, who pressed the pace in the Grade I Bing Crosby Handicap at Del Mar in July before tiring to ninth. The one-two finishers in the Bing Crosby 'Cap, Street Boss and In Summation, are pointing to the Breeders' Cup Sprint at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in late October.
Also entered in the Foothill Stakes are Fire Break, Ford Island, Slokkie and In The Forecast.
Bai And Bai, victorious in last year's $100,000 Las Madrinas Handicap at Fairplex, heads the cast in the $65,000 E.B. Johnston Stakes. Trained by Craig Dollase and ridden by Aaron Gryder, Bai And Bai will be making her first start since winning the Foster City Handicap at Bay Meadows last March 1. The multiple stakes winning 5-year-old mare has amassed $631,868 in earnings, and recently drilled 1:12 4/5 and 1:11 2/5 at Del Mar for her comeback.
Also set to go in the E.B. Johnston are Purrfectly Fitting, Lochinvar's Gold, Petite Cherie, Wickednwackyingrid, Dona Amelia and Chocolate Lava.
FAIRWELLS - All 13 races on Saturday's program are thoroughbred events. In fact, 37 races have been drawn by the Fairplex racing department for the first three days of the Fairplex meet and only one, the first race on opening day for mixed breeds at 870 yards, has not been a thoroughbred event…A total of 5,000 baseball caps will be given away on both Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 6 and 7) to fans in attendance on-track at Fairplex. The caps, presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino, will be different each day, so fans attending both afternoons will receive two different caps…