Catalina Cruiser's victory in the San Diego Handicap highlighted action at Del Mar, but that's also where Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza suffered a vertebrae fracture during a workout.
<p dir="ltr">The summer meet at beautiful Del Mar Thoroughbred Club racetrack at Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar, California, held its festive opening day on July 18, and a much-anticipated entrant in the San Diego Handicap (G2) on Saturday, 2017 race winner Accelerate (3-1-0 in 4 starts in 2018, 7-5-5 in 19 career starts) <a href="http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/sd-sp-accelerate-san-diego-handicap-del-mar-20180720-story.html">scratched</a>, opening the way for unbeaten Catalina Cruiser (3-0-0 in 3 career starts) as the undefeated Union Rags colt won his stakes race debut by 6¾ lengths (1:42.95) in a small field of 5 which saw multiple other scratches (Curlin Rules, El Huerfano, Prince of Arabia, Sharp Samurai). Dr. Dorr finished in 2nd place, with Dabster 3rd.</p><p dir="ltr">On Friday on the Turf at Del Mar in the $75,000 Osunitas Stakes — won four times by Hall of Fame jockey Bill Shoemaker — filly Fahan Mura (5-0-0 in 6 starts in 2018, 7-1-3 in 18 career starts) prevailed as the winner as the 4-year-old earned her first stakes win with 2017 Santa Anita Oaks and 2017 Zenyatta Stakes winner Paradise Woods finishing in a disappointing 6th place in her turf debut. Ichira finished 2nd, with Midnight Crossing 3rd.</p><p dir="ltr">Since being trained by Vladimir Cerin, Fahan Mura in unbeaten (5-0-0) in 5 starts (all grass) in Southern California after winning only 2 races in 12 starts on the East Coast.</p><p dir="ltr"><img height="518" src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/DjDJte3qxOwJMAQeqf6bZltz6030ucvw8EZtXZtJPDd-EAMogQKn40duO_r4gZqNLDg6UKW9UJlrsVgW47C4Ipu8K3Ynr5qaXxZHWmjnlTPdVdgS6tCRLosdkaBPblDldn_8RoM5" width="539" /></p><p dir="ltr">And there was a massive upset at Del Mar on Sunday in Race 4 when longshot Kentan Road (1-0-3 in 7 starts in 2018, 2-1-4 in 12 career starts) pulled off possibly the upset of the entire summer meet, winning at 74/1 odds in an allowance race with a $40,000 claiming option, holding off a late charge from favorite Tonahutu (7/2) by ½ length in the 5-furlong turf race, with Vallestina (paid $7.20 to show) finishing 3rd. Kentan Road paid a Christmas-like $150 to win and a $1 superfecta (13-2-14-3) paid $43,339.30 and he also won the opening leg of a Pick 6 with a pool of $150,120.</p><hr /><p dir="ltr"> </p><h2 dir="ltr">Monomoy Girl, Got Stormy Stay Hot</h2><p dir="ltr">The second leg of the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triple_Tiara_of_Thoroughbred_Racing">Triple Tiara of Thoroughbred Racing</a>, the $300,000 Coaching Club American Oaks (G1), was held on the dirt at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, and 3-year-old filly Monomoy Girl (4/5) continued to impress and continued to make a case for Horse Of The Year, going wire-to-wire and beating rival and 2nd place-finisher Midnight Bisou (7/5) in the 5-horse race which saw Chocolate Martini (12/1) finish 3rd.</p><p dir="ltr">Monomoy Girl, who had about $200,000 bet on her, has now W5 straight races in 2018, is an incredible 8-1-0 in 9 lifetime starts and will try to become the first filly to win the NYRA-reconfigured Filly Triple Crown (Acorn Stakes, American Oaks with the Alabama Stakes instead of the Mother Goose) in the 1¼-miles <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alabama_Stakes">2018 Alabama Stakes</a> at Saratoga in Saratoga Springs, New York, on Aug. 18. Expect underwater odds on Monomoy Girl, likely jockey Florent Geroux and trainer Brad Cox.</p><p dir="ltr">North of the border on Saturday in the 1-mile, $125,000 Ontario Coleen (G3) at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Got Stormy (4-0-1 in 7 starts in 2018, 4-0-2 in 8 career starts) made it three straight stakes wins, winning with Patrick Husbands in the irons in her Canadian debut and as a solid 3/5 favorite (1:34.59).</p><p dir="ltr"> </p><h2 dir="ltr">Jockey Espinoza Hurt</h2><p dir="ltr">Hall of Fame jockey Victor Espinoza suffered a nasty fracture to his C-3 vertebrae in <a href="https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/228650/espinoza-injured-after-bobby-abu-dhabis-fatal-incident">an accident</a> on Sunday at Del Mar when he was thrown during a workout with Bobby Abu Dhabi, winner of the Kona Gold Stakes (G2). Both the horse and rider were reportedly lying motionless on the track after the fall with Bobby Abu Dhabi dying from a major cardiac event and the 46-year-old jockey requiring a neck brace and a stay in Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California, for observation.</p><p dir="ltr">Espinoza showed no signs of paralysis but was experiencing a numbness in his left shoulder. He is sidelined indefinitely, according to his agent Brian Beach.</p><p dir="ltr">Trainer Hamilton Smith <a href="https://www.paulickreport.com/news/people/hamilton-smith-saddles-four-winners-sunday-at-laurel/">won his first 4 starts</a> on the 10-race card at Laurel Park outside Laurel, Maryland, on Sunday (4 for 6 on the day), notching winners with True Cat in Race 1 (paid $4.40), Queen of Schmooze in Race 2 ($4.20), Scrap Copper in Race 4 ($9) and Stillsexyatsixty in Race 5 ($4).</p><p dir="ltr"><img height="261" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/IclQ85pyPg0MgGYGrGcCfmtiyOs0qvB88138VCahCJWLr0ydbgh3yzq-6b_6JSCGrHaeM1subXLY8D8Yvuaz-eHdkW2jSz_EY74NSKTaCaF3dq5Nk1SvNg7dFff1GosSX7z7EjC-" width="539" /></p><p dir="ltr">The richest invitational in North America, the $1 million <a href="https://www.horseracingnation.com/race/2018_Haskell_Invitational#">2018 Haskell Invitational Stakes</a> (G1) will be held Monmouth Park in Oceanside, N.J., on Sunday. Although Triple Crown winner Justify (6-0-0 in 6 starts in 2018) is bypassing and <a href="https://www.courier-journal.com/story/sports/horses/horse-racing/2018/07/16/bob-baffert-justify-likely-not-ready-pacific-classic-travers-stakes/789319002/">possibly out for any August racing</a>, maybe including the Travers Stakes with swelling in the the 3-year-old chestnut colt’s left front ankle, the worthy field may include Good Magic, Bravazo, Reride, Core Beliefs, Promises Fulfilled, Lone Sailor, Mr. Freeze and Navy Commander in the dirt race at Monmouth.</p><p dir="ltr">Also on tap this weekend is the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1) from Ascot Racecourse in Ascot, Berkshire, England, on Friday. Horses such as 2018 Princess of Wales Stakes (G2) winner Best Solution, 2018 Hardwicke Stakes (G2) winner Crystal Ocean, 2018 Prince of Wales’s Stakes (G1) winner Poet’s World, 2018 Grand Prix de Saint Cloud (G1) winner Waldgeist and Cracksman are possible entrants and the Bing Crosby Stakes (G1) from Del Mar by the seaside on Saturday.</p><p dir="ltr"> </p><h2 dir="ltr">Upcoming Horse Racing Calendar</h2><p dir="ltr"><strong>King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes (G1): </strong>Ascot Racecourse, Ascot, Berkshire, England; Friday, July 28</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Haskell Invitational Stakes (G1): </strong>Monmouth Park, Oceanport, New Jersey; Sunday, July 29</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Travers Stakes (G1): </strong>Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, New York; Saturday, Aug. 25</p><p dir="ltr"><strong>Breeders’ Cup World Championships (G1): </strong>Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky: Friday-Saturday, November 2-3</p><p dir="ltr"> </p><h2 dir="ltr">Travers Stakes Futures Odds (<a href="http://www.sportsbookreview.com/Sportsbook/?v=4588&book=BOVADA" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">Bovada</a>)</h2><p dir="ltr">Hofburg 2/1<br />Good Magic +225<br />Firenze Fire 5/1<br />Gronkowski 5/1<br />My Boy Jack 10/1<br />Vino Rosso 10/1<br />McKinzie 14/1<br />Lone Sailor 16/1<br />Instilled Regard 20/1<br />Mendelssohn 20/1<br />Bravazo 25/1<br />Solomini 25/1Bolt d’Oro 33/1</p>