June 24, 2024

Defunded favored in San Diego; Dr. Schivel to make title defense in Bing Crosby

Defunded answered the 1 1/4-mile question in the Hollywood Gold Cup (Photo by Benoit Photos)

Del Mar will offer a pair of stakes Saturday with Breeders’ Cup implications, the $300,000 San Diego H. (G2) and $400,000 Bing Crosby (G1) at six furlongs, a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) at Santa Anita in early November.

Defunded, a top Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) contender, tops 10 older horses in the 1 1/16-mile San Diego, a prep for the summer meet’s centerpiece event, the $1 million Pacific Classic (G1) on Sept. 2.

A two-time Grade 1 winner at Del Mar, Dr. Schivel will make a title defense against 11 rivals in the Bing Crosby.

Defunded exits a frontrunning win in the Hollywood Gold Cup (G1) at Santa Anita on May 29, but the five-year-old gelding may need to revert to stalking tactics in the San Diego due to the presence of multiple Grade 3 sprint winner Backyard Ride, who brings high speed to the stretch back out to two turns.

Trained by Bob Baffert, a two-time winner of the San Diego, Defunded rallied from off the pace to win the Californian (G2) two back, and the multiple Grade 1 winner remains the one to beat with regular jockey Juan Hernandez. The chestnut has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite.

Three-time graded winner Slow Down Andy, sixth when opening his four-year-old season in the Met Mile (G1) on the June 10 Belmont Stakes undercard, is listed as the 5-1 co-second choice with the John Sadler-trained Missed the Cut, second when making his U.S. debut in a June 11 allowance at Santa Anita.

American Admiral, who defeated Missed the Cut last out, will return to stakes competition for Tim Yakteen. Hollywood Gold Cup runner-up Piroli, Californian runner-up Royal Ship, and Grade 3 winner Senor Buscador are also entered.

In the Bing Crosby, Dr. Schivel will attempt to rebound after a fifth in the Met Mile. He’s won three of four starts at Del Mar, the lone setback being a nose second in the 2021 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1), and Dr. Schivel has been pegged as the early 7-2 favorite. Hernandez rides for Mark Glatt.

Triple Bend (G2) and San Carlos (G3) winner Spirit of Makena is a contender from the inside with Joe Bravo. Grade 3 victor Anarchist, a respectable second to champion male sprinter Elite Power in the True North (G2) at Belmont last out, is the 4-1 co-second choice along with The Chosen Vron, who switches to open competition following seven consecutive wins over state-bred stakes rivals.

Other runners of interest include American Theorem, Hoist the Gold, Kid Corleone, and Sibelius.