A Very Strange Weekend at Del Mar

Some notes on what turned out to be a very strange weekend at Del Mar …

This meet runs exactly 40 days and 40 nights. “And God said unto Joe Harper, load the horses 2 by 2 into the starting gate.”

Who needs Polycrap? The new main track passed its first major test with flying colors. Under the conditions, the turf course did pretty well itself, hosting renewals of the Eddie Read and the San Clemente.

See Flavien Prat. See Flavien Prat ride Gas Total to a narrow victory in the Osunitas. See Flavien Prat fined $200 for violating the whip rule. See Flavien Prat collect 4.5K for the ride. See Flavien Prat cry all the way to the bank.

El Nino: A preview of coming attractions?

Pretty N Cool stamped herself as the early favorite for the Del Mar Debutante with a debut romp in the slop on Sunday. The only reason she was even-money was the disappointing first-timer C.C. Zipp, who took some of the steam.

By cell phone from his barn at Del Mar, Art Sherman revealed to the Sunday listeners of the Roger Stein radio show that California Chrome would be returning to California with plans to race in 2016. Maybe this story will have a happy ending after all.

While lightning strikes were setting palm trees ablaze, an unfazed American Pharoah worked 6 furlongs in 1:11 2/5 Saturday morning. This horse is amazing.

Forecast at Il Fornaio restaurant: Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.

Jeff Mullins flexed his training muscles with a perfect 4-for-4 start at the meet, highlighted by victories in the Oceanside with Soul Driver and the Eddie Read with Gabriel Charles.

Santiago (can you hear me now) Gonzalez was the unlikely riding hero of the weekend as he hit for the cycle on Sunday, including a smashing win aboard Prize Exhibit in the San Clemente for Yankees fan Jim Cassidy.

“Take a boat, take a sub, take a hovercraft.”

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ratzkym@yahoo.com @TashmanMortyS