February 23, 2024

Restrainedvengeance returns for La Jolla; Summerland faces nine in Sorrento

Restrainedvengence and jockey Evin Roman win the Oceanside Stakes on Del Mar's opening day, July 18, 2018 © BENOIT PHOTO

RESTRAINEDVENGEANCE showed up on Del Mar’s opening day to claim a three-quarter length victory in the Oceanside Stakes, and on Sunday continues his journey through the venue’s turf series for sophomores in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (G3).

The turf series ends in the Del Mar Derby (G2) on September 2, but Restrainedvengeance will first have to overcome five rivals in the La Jolla if he hopes to complete the sweep. The Val Brinkerfhoff trainee earned his first stakes win in the Oceanside under jockey Evin Roman, and keeps that rider aboard Sunday in this spot.

RIVER BOYNE appears to be Restrainedvengeance’s main rival following a 2 1/4-length score in the Rainbow Stakes at Santa Anita Park on June 16. The Jeff Mullins charge saw a three-race win streak snapped when fifth in the American Turf (G2) on Kentucky Derby Day at Churchill Downs, heading into that one off a one-length victory in the Pasadena Stakes on March 17. Flavien Prat has been aboard in all but one of the Irish-bred’s six U.S. races and holds the reins here.

CALEXMAN set the pace in the Oceanside before yielding late to be third under the wire. The Midshipman chestnut broke his maiden last November going a mile over Del Mar’s turf under jockey Edwin Maldonado, who takes back the mount for trainer Vladimir Cerin.

MOVE OVER and ARAWAK also ran in the Oceanside, finishing fifth and sixth, respectively. The former, a British-bred son of Acclamation trained by John Sadler, also ran third by a half-length in the Singletary Stakes in May. The latter, a Doug O’Neill-trained son of Uncle Mo, was fourth in the American Turf and third in the Rainbow Stakes in his two races prior to the Oceanside.

Tyler Baze rides Move Over while Rafael Bejarano has the call on Arawak.

Completing the La Jolla field is INSCOM, who seeks just his second career victory for trainer Simon Callaghan. The Distorted Humor sophomore broke his maiden by 4 1/4 lengths last October at Santa Anita and was second by a head two races later in the Eddie Logan Stakes. The Kentucky-bred bay also finished second in the Pasadena Stakes in mid-March, and enters this spot off an unplaced effort against allowance/optional claiming rivals at Del Mar on July 19.

The La Jolla shares Sunday’s program at Del Mar with the $200,000 Sorrento Stakes (G2) for juvenile fillies. A field of 10 has been entered in the six-furlong affair, including Hastings Park shipper SUMMERLAND.

Trainer Phil Hall drove the bay daughter of He’s Tops from Vancouver, Canada, himself, arriving at Del Mar 26 hours later.

Summerland will be facing straight fillies for the first time in her career in the Sorrento after romping against the boys at Hastings in her two starts to date. The unbeaten Kentucky-bred easily broke her maiden by 9 1/4 lengths at 16-1 in late May, setting a new track record in the process, and then wired the Spaghetti Mouse Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths on July 15 as the heavy favorite.

“There was an allowance race up there for her Monday, but I didn’t know if it was going to go. I didn’t know if there would be enough entered against her,” Hall explained the decision to ship the young filly all the way down the coast from Vancouver to San Diego. “I had two fillies for that race, so I figured (the Sorrento) would be a good test for her.”

Tyler Baze will pilot Summerland for the first time as the bay lass takes on seven maiden winners and two maidens.

Among those lining up against her are REFLECT and BOUJIE GIRL. The former took her maiden debut by 5 3/4 lengths for trainer Keith Desoremaux and retains the services of jockey Kent Desormeaux. The latter comes from trainer Peter Miller’s barn and captured a maiden claimer by 3 1/2 lengths under Drayden Van Dyke on July 26 at Del Mar. Geovanni Franco has the call on the gray filly.

Van Dyke chose to stay in STIRRED’s saddle after guiding that Mike McCarthy miss to a 1 1/4-length score on June 21 at Santa Anita. Jockey Mike Smith pilots MADISON’S QUARTERS as the Ian Wilkes pupil tries dirt for the first time after breaking her maiden over Arlington Park’s Polytrack on July 13. Trainer Wesley Ward saddles DRAGIC off a 3 1/2-month break, with her previous start coming as a 1 3/4-length score going 4 1/2 furlongs at Keeneland on April 12.

LADY LUCY and DICHOTOMY each took two tries to earn a first career victory, doing so at Churchill Downs and Del Mar, respectively. DEL MAR MAY and BELLAFINA are each seeking a first career win in this spot after finishing second in their debuts.