Big Field for Del Mar’s Hollywood Derby
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire
By Emily Shields for TVG
One of the highlights of the fall turf festival at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby. The $300,000, nine-furlong contest drew a large, competitive field of 13 runners, including East Coast shippers Decorated Invader, Get Smokin, Gufo, and Domestic Spending. They will take on local standout Smooth Like Strait and the 2019 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) winner, Storm the Court. Watch and wager with TVG daily for continued coverage of the 2020 Del Mar fall meeting.
Cannon Thoroughbreds LLC’s Smooth Like Straight is a son of Midnight Lute who is unbeaten on the Del Mar turf course. The Michael McCarthy-trainee has won five of 10 starts overall, including the Grade 2 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita last out. This year alone he has won over the turf tracks of Santa Anita, Churchill Downs, and here at Del Mar, and is a likely pick in this race under Umberto Rispoli.
However, the shippers are formidable. Domestic Spending (GB) is the Chad Brown representative in the race; the son of Kingman (GB) has won three of four starts lifetime, including the Saratoga Derby Invitational last out. Irad Ortiz, Jr. will fly in to ride the colt, whose lone loss came at this distance behind two of today’s rivals.
The first of those is Decorated Invader. The first of two Christophe Clement-trainees, the son of Declaration of War reeled off five wins in six starts over the past 15 months, but then ran fifth – beaten less than a length – in the Saratoga Derby, and second – beaten just a head – in the Hill Prince (G2). Joel Rosario will be up on the $200,000 West Point Thoroughbreds purchase, a top contender who has been first or second in seven of nine lifetime starts.
Get Smokin drew just to his inside. Thomas Bush trains the son of Get Stormy, who will be ridden by Mike Smith for the first time. He upset the Grade 2 Hill Prince over Decorated Invader last out, winning by a head at 7-1. He had been Grade 2 placed earlier in the season, and while he only has two wins in 10 starts, he has been top three seven times.
Gufo is the stablemate of Decorated Invader. Another son of Declaration of War, he is coming off a score in the Belmont Derby (G1) and has won five of his last six. Flavien Prat picks up the mount on the chestnut colt.
Ever Dangerous rounds out the invaders. The George Weaver runner by Kitten’s Joy has won two in a row, including a Keeneland stakes race on the Breeders’ Cup undercard. He was 75-1 that day, off an allowance win at Belmont where he was 11-1. Victor Espinoza will ride.
Recent Del Mar stakes winner Strongconstitution, Grade 2-placed Taishan, 2019 Eclipse Award Champion Two Year Old Storm the Court, and the filly Californian Kook make the field a deep, competitive event.
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