Irish-bred Hunt and Kentucky-bred Sharp Samurai, grass champions from the 2017 Del Mar season, head an outstanding field of 13 Thoroughbreds scheduled to compete Sunday in the Grade II $200,000 Del Mar Mile.
Hunt, victor in the Eddie Read Stakes and Del Mar Handicap last summer to clinch older grass horse honors, will have Flavien Prat in the saddle as he attempts to rebound from a disappointing performance in the Read Stakes a month ago in which he finished tenth and last.
Sharp Samurai, top three-year-old at Del Mar a year ago after sweeping the La Jolla Handicap and Del Mar Derby, comes into the Del Mar Mile in fine form, beaten just a neck by longshot Catapult in the Read Stakes. Regular rider Gary Stevens has the call again.
The Del Mar Mile line-up is abundantly talented, attracting Read Stakes winner Catapult, who scored at 21-1, with Drayden Van Dyke to ride Sunday; Fly to Mars (Tyler Gaffalione), who set a Del Mar course record of 1:39.50 for a mile and one-sixteenth in taking the California Dreamin Stakes; Bowies Hero, winner of the Grade I Kilroe Mile in March, plus two invaders, Argentine-bred Le Ken (Tyler Baze), fifth in the '17 Del Mar Mile, and Caribou Club, a stakes-winner at Woodbine in early June.
Others in the field are What a View (Kent Desormeaux), True Valour (Brice Blanc), B Squared (Mario Gutierrez), Om (Joe Talamo), Big Score (Rafael Bejarano) and Next Shares (Stewart Elliott).
Post time for the first of ten races is 2 p.m.
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