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Mendelssohn impresses with Juvenile Turf victory; Question is will he try dirt at Churchill Downs?

By Warren Eves

One had to be impressed with Mendelssohn’s win in Saturday’s $1-M Juvenile Turf.

Racing in blinkers for the second start he was away with the lead in the opening strides. Ryan Moore had him in the garden spot all the way and when he set him down he responded.

The Aidan O’Brien trained son of Scat Daddy won by a length posting a final fraction of 12.30.  Mendelssohn paid $11.60 to win chased to the wire by the 12-1 shot Untamed Domain.

About the possibility of running Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby, trainer O’Brien said earlier in the week that trying him on dirt is a possibility.

The show came off in good fashion at famed Del Mar by the sea. Friday’s on track handle was $9,280,504 was 29% better than last year’s BC venue at Santa Anita.

“We made the best of the draw(post one),” said jockey Moore. “He quickened well.” Famed trainer O’Brien, who’s have a banner year,  commented: “We were afraid to change him up, so we kept him on grass.”

The bought Mendelssohn for $3 million in the 2016 Keeneland Sales.

Del Mar announced an on track crowd of 32,278. Total handle for the day on the program was $52,273,883 which was a 5.3% increase. In fact, it was the best total handle for a Breeders Cup program since 2013.

Notes scribbled on my program–Sometimes things never change. Noted in the photo for fourth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf Kent Desormeaux was up early on Fatale Bere. Wow! I guess we could say Kent has never learned his lesson about this riding flaw of his…………Jack Van Berg sighting. He’s got some horses at the Indiana Downs race meeting. Seems like many moons ago when his dad was still around, the Van Berg name was likely to surface at just about every horse racing venue……………..I could be mistaken, but Woodbine has light on he jockeys once they have been loaded into the gate. Woodbine is also one of the most efficient when it comes to loading the gate and dispatching a field of runners…………….Too bad famed Yonkers night to night racing agenda is not as good as their awesome television adds. They continue, for some insane reason, to hide the horses when they score. The graphics remain up and viewers have to guess when the race is about to begin…………….By chance, I was monitoring the races from Woodbine on the evening of Wednesday, Aug., 30, and saw a filly named Summer Sunday. This juvenile daughter of Silent Name took the lead after the break from post one and won off.  Stuart Simon trains the Canadian-bred winner of the $200,000 Muskoko Stakes by four lengths as the 6-to-5 favorite. She broke well, brushed an outside foe, then skirted into a clear lead under Jesse Campbell. After an opening quarter of 22.88 she held a 1-1/2 length lead going into the turn. Once in the straight she was asked some right-handed and while drifting out some she came the final quarter in 6.67. What really caught our eye was the manner in which she willingly galloped out into the turn. “She stepped her game up today,” said Campbell, who also believes it will be no issue when they ask her to negotiate two turns…………..I’ve said it many times but it’s worth repeating. The starter at Penn National is the worst. He waits and waits and usually something bad happens……………Talk about answering prayers. When Sasha Risenhoover won a $100K stake closing day at Del Mar it was hard to believe.  She steered Terra’s Angel, the filly that brought her to SoCal, to win the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf on closing day. Wow did that help veteran agent Vince DeGregory out a heap because it had been slim pickings of late. Vince sent me a message on Tuesday. “She has talent and she wants to learn from me, so I agreed to help her get better in phases where she needs the help,” DeGregory began, “She works very hard and is up early everyday which has rubbed on me. I am now going to the barns with her since my back pain is allowing me to do it. I am praying that she gets more chances with stop stables she has been working in the morings.”………………Watched the re-run video tape of the Laurel Futurity. Therapist, coming off a maiden win at Belmont last July, loaded last and was outrun early. She began a run off the turn up the rail, worked his way outside and surged to get up just in time. Owned by Red Bluff Stables the son of Freud looks to have a future……………The epidemic use of “off the lead” being used by new voices in the field of race calling is dumb. Like I have said for eons, be yourself, don’t copy another announcer’s terms. The young man who called the Los Alamitos fair meet could be good if he were not using what other race callers use. How about concentrating on tempo, increasing your voice level as the field comes off the top and heads into the stretch. And don’t say “off the lead” three or four times during your call of the race. It’s just dumb…………….Sasha Risenhoover was soft spoken when Eddie Burgart interviewed her last week at Los Alamitos Race Course.  What we know is that agent Vince DeGregory is has arranged for her to work with jockey Mike Smith on the stationery horse in the jocks’ room………….Just watched a youngster named Jing get a horrible trip on the lawn at Indiana Downs. Draw a line through the effort, never had a chance, getting clear way too late while third…………….Just watched Chad Lindsay ride the winner of the seventh at Turf Paradise on Oct., 22.  His former agent Vince DeGregory kept telling him to use his left hand in crunch time. After running his mount into a switch going for the far turn, he got his mount to re-group, spanked with his left-hand off the top and then once he had it won he switched the stick to his right.  His agent has taught oh so many the art of getting it done in crunch time………………Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, you hear a young man trying to become a race caller at Retama Park. My oh my has the world of horse race calling taken a dip in the wrong direction.

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About The Author

Warren Eves
Warren Eves is a senior turf writer from the state of California who calls Pearl River, Louisiana his home. The one time editor of the Pasadena Independent Star News moved on to handle publicity for racetracks coast to coast. Eves gained his first exposure to the racetrack through a school buddy the late Art Lerille, Jr., who eventually became a trainer in California. Warren worked as farm manager for crack two-year-old trainer Ray Priddy, before holding on track jobs at the racetrack. He worked for Hall of Fame trainer M.E. "Buster" Millerick, Allen Drumheller, Jr., and Dick Moon. Eves has a well rounded background in all breeds. He developed Quarter Horse Report in 1979 with Ed Burgart, track announcer, at Los Alamitos Race Course. It was an innovative publication which revolutionized the industry with actual descriptions of the workouts. While handling publicity at Saratoga Raceway in upstate New York Eves was named employee of the year in 1970. He also handled publicity for Sunland Park, Centennial Park, Ascot Park, Thistledown, and two harness meetings in California. Eves then went into the 900-line business with his best plays and has compiled his own Kentucky Derby ratings for many years. In 1997 he began going back and forth to Las Vegas teaming up with Ralph Siraco to create the long runining radio show Raceday Las Vegas. Eves has produced and directed many horse racing shows on both radio and television. In 2010 he got a call from Mark Geiger. That's when he began writing www.pricehorsecentral.com. Eves, with a reputation of a trip handicapper, is known for his video tape scrutiny. He currently monitors horse racing in for a major horseplayer. While writing for Ridder Publication at the Pasadena Star News his investigative reporting was highly regarded by his peers. Often on the cutting edge, Eves has been given the green light to write about what issues he sees fit to cover. Have a question. His book "Hold All Tickets" is soon to be made available for those who come to this site. It's a factual account of actual events and happenings that took place in the 70s, 80s and 90s. If Warren doesn't know the answer to a question you may have, he'll tell you up front. Eves won't drop it there, however, he'll find someone who knows the answer and get back to you.

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