The Kentucky Derby might be over, but there is a lot more stakes racing to be had on Sunday and beyond. The Preakness Stakes should be just as good in October, while the Saudi Cup, the richest horse race in the world, is scheduled for February this year. The Kentucky Derby might be the most well known race in North America, but the Saudi Cup came with a whopping prize of $20 million last year, which resulted in a lot of controversy.
The winner at the time of the race, Maximum Security, was disqualified because of a positive drug test. This was in February and they are only now getting to distribute the prize money. I’m looking forward to the Saudi Cup, and will have a preview in the future for the most valuable horse racing in the world. I was on the right path in March for my Kentucky Derby preview, so hopefully an early preview works out well for the Saudi Cup as well. Let’s focus on Del Mar in California for today, though.
Del Mar has some stakes racing on Sunday, with a total of three stakes events. The running of the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante Stakes (Gr. 1) is the main event in California. Head below for our free Del Mar picks for September 6, 2020.
Post Time: 2:00 p.m. PST
Distance: 5 ½ Furlongs
Our Del Mar card gets going with a $59,000 purse in Race 3. This event will cover 5 ½ furlongs on the dirt for a $59,000 purse. Quality Response and Bulletproof One are going to be tough customers for the rest of the Race 3 field.
Quality Response was in search of a hat-trick to open his career on October 6, 2019 in the $400,000 Frizette Stakes (Gr. 1). Prior to that event, Quality Response won back-to-back races on September 1, 2019 and September 19, 2019.
Following a lengthy layoff, Quality Response is back on the track at Del Mar on Sunday. This race is a significant step down from what Quality Response had to deal with in the Frizette Stakes in October.
The $200,000 Quality Response has been in good form in the morning leading into today. She recorded times of 59 seconds and 1:01.00 seconds at 5 furlongs, and 48 seconds at 4 furlongs in August. Quality Response is a definite horse for the shortlist.
Bulletproof One is likely the only horse in this race to give Quality Response problems. She has more experience than Quality Response, with 6 wins in 12 entries. Bulletproof One is a winner in 3 of her previous 4 outings. In her latest performance, Bulletproof One downed Querelle by 2 ¾ lengths in a $53,000 win.
It was a nice response after faltering in the $150,000 Evening Jewel Stakes (Black Type). Quality Response is a bit of a wildcard here. If she’s in her old form, then a win should be there, but following a layoff, and having to deal with Bulletproof One, it should be a tough race.
Race 8 – Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf
Post Time: 4:40 p.m. PST
In a small $75,000 turf race for fillies, a mile will be run on the grass in Race 8. The field is inexperienced, with only two horses in the field having participated in at least three races. Inner Beauty is the most experienced horse with five races to her name.
Ivy League and Madone, who are both on my shortlist here, go into today as sophomores after running their first races recently. Ivy League made her debut on July 31 to place 2nd in a $55,000 event, losing by a length.
Ivy League has been working out often in the morning in August. She completed 3 furlongs in 37.60 seconds, 5 furlongs in 1:02.00 twice, and 1:14.20 at 6 furlongs. The only horse that Ivy League lost to in her debut was Madone. They made their debuts together and will be in for a rematch on Sunday at Del Mar.
Madone edged out Ivy League by a length in that contest. She is a perfect 1 for 1 in her career after beating Ivy League on July 31. Madone showed great kick going into the stretch. She had a head advantage on Ivy League and then built on the lead to shake clear late in the stretch.
Madone was a recent $125,000 purchase in March, and so far she has done everything asked of her to justify that price. Expect another duel, with Madone likely cutting down the field late in the stretch again for the first stakes win of her young career.
Race 9 – Del Mar Debutante Stakes
Post Time: 5:10 p.m. PST
The feature race at Del Mar carries a purse of $250,000 for 7 furlongs on the dirt. My Girl Red and Princess Noor should run a strong race on Sunday. Both will have a nice opportunity to grab the top prize in the Del Mar Debutante Stakes (Gr. 1). Note that this is one of just two Grade 1 races on Sunday. The other Grade 1 race is at Saratoga, which we have you covered for in the Spinaway Stakes (Gr. 1).
My Girl Red is a perfect 2 for 2 after winning in her debut on June 14 in a $50,000 event by 4 ¼ lengths. It was an impressive debut for My Girl Red as a slight underdog. She was even better two months later in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (Gr. 2). In her stakes debut, My Girl Red flourished for a 4 ¾ length win over Girl On the Bus. My Girl Red completed 4 furlongs in 49 and 48.20 seconds and 5 furlongs in 1:01.20 in August.
Bob Baffert is searching for more honors on Sunday with Princess Noor. The $1,350,000 Princess Noor made an impressive debut on August 22 with a 2 ½ length win over Flash Magic in a $55,000 maiden event. She goes from a $55,000 to $250,000 Grade 1 stakes race. I think it’s justified given her abilities. Her debut was a mere warm up for a horse of her caliber.
We are likely going to be hearing about her plenty in the next year. Gamine is better than Princess Noor at this point, despite losing the Kentucky Oaks, but Baffert has another electric filly in his barn in Princess Noor. I wouldn’t be surprised with a duel unfolding in the stretch between My Girl Red and Princess Noor. Just like Authentic on Saturday, look for Princess Noor to fend off her opponent to give Baffert another win.