Tres Borrachos returns to defend his title against six rivals in the 71st running of the San Diego Handicap on Saturday (July 28) at Del Mar.
Trained by Marty Jones for George Hicker and the Button Stable of James Taylor, Tres Borrachos made a late charge for a 1 ¼-length victory in the 2011 San Diego Handicap, a $200,000, Grade II, 1 1/16-mile run on the Polytrack main course.
Tres Borrachos, a 7-year-old Kentucky-bred son of Ecton Park, broke a 13-race losing streak in the 2011 San Diego as Jones changed tactics and opted to have jockey Rafael Bejarano bring the usually forwardly-placed runner from off the pace. Tres Borrachos, which translates from Spanish as “Three Drunks,” is winless in eight starts since the San Diego Handicap victory, most recently finishing fourth in the Triple Bend Handicap sprint on June 12 at Hollywood Park.
Mobilized, a 6-year-old Gary Mandella trainee who finished third in the Triple Bend, is entered in the San Diego. Kettle Corn, third in the Hollywood Gold Cup on July 7 and Prayer For Relief, third in the June 2 Californian – races won by major TVG Pacific Classic threat Game On Dude – are considered San Diego contenders. So is 2009 Hollywood Gold Cup winner Rail Trip, making his third start since being returned to the care of trainer Ron Ellis.
The San Diego is the major prep race for the $1 million TVG Classic, Del Mar’s signature event, upcoming Sunday, August 26.
The field from the rail out with jockeys and weights: Kettle Corn (Garrett Gomez, 117); Mobilized (Corey Nakatani, 115); Tres Borrachos (Mike Smith, 116); John Scott (Victor Espinoza, 114); Take Control (Rafael Bejarano, 113); Prayer for Relief (Bob Baffert, 119); Rail Trip (Jose Valdivia Jr., 118).
Saturday’s supporting feature is the $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes. The 7-furlong race for California-bred 3-year-old fillies drew a field of nine.