May 25, 2024

Catching up with 2-year-olds at Del Mar

Del Mar ©Benoit Photo

Three weeks remain in Del Mar’s summer meet and let’s review some notable 2-year-old performers. Saratoga’s juveniles have also been featured this week.


RUN AWAY was much the best in the August 12 Best Pal (G2), improving to 3-for-3 with a 3 ½-length romp in the 6 ½-furlong race, and established himself as the early favorite for the Del Mar Futurity (G1) on September 4. $325,000 Run Away and Hide colt registered an 88 BRIS Speed Rating and Simon Callaghan trains the two-time stakes hero.

BOLT D’ORO threw a scare into backers when breaking slowing in his August 5 debut at 6 ½ furlongs, but the odds-on favorite surged through traffic to duel for early lead and drew off in the stretch to a 2 ¼-length decision. Purchased for $630,000, Medaglia d’Oro colt is co-owned and trained by Mick Ruis. He received a 91 BRIS Speed.

SOUL STREIT dominated from start-to-finish on August 13, scoring by a widening 5 ¼-length margin at 5-furlongs in his career bow, and Bob Baffert handles the exciting juvenile prospect for co-owner and college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit. By Maclean’s Music, Indiana-bred colt cost $85,000 at auction and netted an 89 BRIS Speed.

TATTERS TO RICHES was well-hyped for his debut and did not disappoint as the 3-5 favorite on July 29, notching a 1 ¼-length tally in front-running fashion at 6-furlongs. $1 million Union Rags colt is conditioned by Jeff Mullins. He earned an 89 BRIS Speed.

GRACIDA led all the way for Doug O’Neill on July 22, recording a facile 2 ¼-length debut victory at 5-furlongs. $400,000 Louisiana-bred son of Custom for Carlos garnered an 88 BRIS Speed.

CONTINENTAL DIVIDE posted a rallying second making his first start in a Cal-bred maiden on July 21 and came back to defeat state-bred foes in the August 6 Graduation, utilizing a wide trip to win by about a length at 5 ½-furlongs. A $245,000 purchase from the first crop of Animal Kingdom, James Cassidy-trained colt registered an 84 BRIS Speed in his second outing and exacted a measure of revenge upon SMOKEM, who defeated Continental Divide the first-time out and offered another fine closing kick for runner-up honors in the Graduation.

ENCUMBERED finished fourth to Run Away when unveiled in the Santa Anita Juvenile in early July and came back to break his maiden going two turns on turf, closing strongly to capture a July 30 maiden special weight by about a length. $225,000 Violence colt is conditioned by Simon Callaghan.

BOMBARDEO provided freshman sire Violence with another turf victor, leading all the way in his debut on August 2. The $67,000 colt was making his first start in the 5 ½-furlong sprint for Keith Desormeaux.


SPECTATOR entered the August 5 Sorrento (G2) off a smashing debut maiden win at Santa Anita in late June but was overlooked as the 4-1 third choice among seven rivals. The Phil D’Amato-trained daughter of Jimmy Creed left no doubt about superiority in the 6 ½-furlong test, drawing off spectacularly through the stretch to a 5 ¼-length win, and established herself as the filly to beat in the Del Mar Debutante (G1) on September 2. She generated a 93 BRIS Speed.

GAS STATION SUSHI was bet down to even-money in her August 6 unveiling and looked the part of a good one, rolling to a front-running 3 ½-length decision for Richard Baltas. $240,000 Into Mischief filly received an excellent 96 BRIS Speed in the 6 ½-furlong race.

JUST A SMIDGE is another promising daughter of Into Mischief, scoring at first asking for Bob Baffert on July 19. Purchased for $425,000, the gray lass overcame a slow start to win going away by 1 ¼ lengths at 5-furlongs and earned a 93 BRIS Speed.

POETIC rallied from off the pace to a good-looking victory on July 30, taking her career debut at 5 ½-furlongs by 1 ½ lengths. Richard Mandella trains the Violence filly, who was acquired for $220,000, and the dark bay netted a 90 BRIS Speed.

PIEDI BIANCHI offered a fine closing kick to prove best in a 5-furlong maiden on August 12, capturing her second start for Doug O’Neill by a 1 ¼ lengths. Second when making her bow at Los Alamitos, the gray registered a 90 BRIS Speed. $80,000 Overanalyze filly was bred in Indiana.

SHOW IT MOE IT continued to move forward for trainer Gary Sherlock when posting a 1 ½-length victory over state-bred foes in the August 2 C.T.B.A. at 5 ½-furlongs. After dropping her first two attempts, the daughter of Grace Upon Grace was exiting a runaway maiden tally at Santa Anita in late June. She received an 86 BRIS Speed.

MEDAGLIA GOLD switched to turf and thrived on the stretch out to two turns, posting a convincing wire-to-wire upset on July 29. By Medaglia d’Oro, the Cliff Sise Jr. trainee scored by 3 ¼ lengths in her third career start.

MULTIPLAYER prevailed in her career bow at one-mile on turf, taking an August 13 maiden by a neck. Tim Yakteen trains the Giant’s Causeway filly.