Woodford Racing's Catapult, champion grass horse of last summer's Del Mar racing season, will be seeking a repeat victory in the Grade II $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes Sunday when the 46th running of the mile and one-eighth turf event headlines an eight-race program. Post for the first race is 2 p.m.
Catapult, a six-year-old son of Kitten's Joy conditioned by John Sadler, was a neck winner over Sharp Samurai a year ago and followed up that success with a triumph in the Del Mar Mile to secure top laurels at season's end. Regular rider Drayden Van Dyke has the call on Catapult.
Returning to test the likely favorite again will be Catapult's familiar rival, the aforementioned Sharp Samurai, a hard-hitting First Samurai gelding who showed his affinity for Del Mar's infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course as a three-year-old when he won both the La Jolla Handicap and Del Mar Derby. More recently, Sharp Samurai was third, beaten only a neck by Majestic Eagle, in the American at Santa Anita last month. Victor Espinoza has the call from trainer Mark Glatt.
Others in the small but talented field are Brazilian-bred Ohio, victor in the Grade I Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita who will have Ruben Fuentes aboard; Ritzy A.P., Martin Garcia; Marckie's Water, Tiago Pereira, and stretch-running Bowies Hero, Flavien Prat.
Also on Sunday's card is the $85,000 Wickerr Stakes which drew a field of nine older horses traveling one mile on the grass. Entrants are Le Ken, Restrainedvengence, Law Abidin Citizen, Higher Power, Bombard, Souter, Blended Citizen, Tizzarunner and Double Touch.
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