The 'Battle of the Exes' involving formerly-engaged jockeys Chantal Sutherland and Mike Smith is one week away on Sunday, August 7. The preliminaries for the event will commence with the beginning of the third week of the summer meeting.
On Wednesday at 12:30 in the track's paddock/walking ring, a blind draw will be held to assign mounts for the one-mile, main track race. Two maidens, plus an “also eligible” backup, have been selected by Racing Secretary Tom Robbins, based on comparable ability.
The horses are 3-year-old geldings seeking their initial career wins. The two chosen starters are Joker Face, trained by Peter Eurton and owned by Mr. and Mrs. Marc C. Ferrell, and Parable, trained by Carla Gaines for Swift Thoroughbreds Inc. The “also eligible,” who will be ready to substitute if necessary, is Tapfortexas, trained by Mike Machowsky for owner Dale Taylor.
Joker Face has started four times with two runner-up finishes for earnings of $16,660. Parable's statistics are 8 0-1-2 for $21,940 in earnings. Tapfortexas is 7 0-1-1 with earnings of $15,024.
The race is a $40,000 maiden claimer with a $31,000 purse, and both horses will carry 121 pounds. It will be either the third or fourth race on the card, depending on the number of races scheduled when entries are taken on Thursday. The match race will be positioned to precede and not be a part of the Pick Six.
After the draw, a press conference will be held to allow Hall of Fame member Smith and Sutherland, summering at Del Mar for the first time, to discuss the race and answer questions.
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