Del Mar Juvenile Turf S. victor Big Fish and Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf S. winner Madone are the top draws for the $100,000 Zuma Beach S. and $100,000 Surfer Girl S., respectively, at Santa Anita on Sunday.
The one-mile turf affairs serve as final preps for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) at Keeneland on Nov. 6.
Big Fish heads a field of seven males. A California-bred son of Mr. Big, the 2-year-old gelding broke his maiden when switching to the turf against state-bred foes in his third start at Del Mar and jumped straight to open stakes company last time, rallying to win the Del Mar Juvenile Turf by a length at Sunday’s distance. Regular rider Victor Espinoza will be up for David Hofmans.
Del Mar Juvenile Turf runner-up Ebeko is also back for the Zuma Beach. An Irish maiden winner in mid-July, the English-bred colt closed well from far back when making his U.S. debut last out for new trainer Peter Miller. Ricardo Gonzalez sticks with the son of Awtaad.
Tarantino will receive support after graduating at first asking on Sept. 7, scoring by a length in a one-mile turf event at Del Mar. Bob Baffert trains the $610,000 son of Pioneerof the Nile, and Tiago Pereira retains the mount. Last-out maiden winners Caisson and Ingest are also part of the mix.
Madone tops nine fillies in the Surfer Girl. Perfect from two starts, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Vancouver rallied to win by a half-length as the 8-5 favorite in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf. Flavien Prat guides the dark bay miss for Simon Callaghan.
Nimbostratus finished second when shipping stateside for the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf but was disqualified and placed third for interference. The French-bred broke her maiden in Ireland in early July similar to Ebeko, and Nimbostratus is also trained by Miller. She picks up Pereira. Miller will also send out Maxim Strider, who ran to expectations when winning her debut as the favorite on Aug. 28. Gonzalez, who was also up on Nimbostratus in her last start, opts for Maxim Strider.
Other runners include Canoodling, a troubled fifth in the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf; and last-out maiden winners Closing Remarks and Consternation.