WEEKEND STAKES AT DEL MAR
• $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, 3-year-olds, 1 mile (turf)
• $200,000 Grade II San Clemente Stakes, 3-year-old fillies, 1 mile (turf)
• $100,000 Osunitas Stakes, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile (turf)
• $125,000 Grade III Cougar Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 1 1/2 miles
• $100,000 Wickerr Stakes, 3-year-olds and up, 1 mile (turf)
DOWN THE STRETCH
• Trainer Bob Baffert says Country Grammer most likely will prep for the Pacific Classic by running in the Grade II San Diego Handicap on July 30 at Del Mar. He also plans to run Hollywood Gold Cup runner-up Defunded in the race. Taiba is entered to run in Saturday’s $1 million Haskell Stakes at Monmouth Park with Mike Smith aboard. Baffert has won the Haskell a record nine times. He said Messier had a little displacing in the Kentucky Derby and won’t return until the fall.
• Count Baffert among the many admirers of Flightline: “He’s unbelievable. He reminds me of American Pharoah. Just the way he gets over the ground. I’ve watched him train since I came back and he looks stronger since I left. John Sadler has done a great, tremendous job managing him and picking his spots. He’s exciting and I hate to run against him, but I think it’s exciting for California. Racing needs stars to bring the people out, they want to see those horses. It’s great for the sport.”
• The Haskell drew a field of eight, including the undefeated Jack Christopher. The 3-year-old son of Munnings has won the Grade II Pat Day Mile at Churchill Downs and the Grade I Woody Stephens at Belmont Park this year since returning from an injury that knocked him out of last fall’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and this year’s Triple Crown races. Jack Christopher, trained by Chad Brown, is the 3-2 second choice on the morning line and will be ridden by Jose Ortiz. Taiba is the 7-5 favorite.
— Art Wilson