Final Week of Bing’s Meet Follows Big Month with Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar
The Bing Crosby meet (Nov. 1-26) comes to a close next weekend at Del Mar with 8 of the 21 stakes races of the meet being run over Thanksgiving weekend. The home of the record-setting 2017 Breeders’ Cup will roll out the red carpet for those eight graded races with the Red Carpet Stakes (G3) on Thanksgiving Day. A strong kick to the finish follows Saturday and Sunday with a pair of Grade 1 races among six total stakes including the Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds and the Matriarch Stakes for fillies and mares. Both those are $300,000 races. But this Sunday’s stakes race is one to watch as a strong group of older Cal-breds take to the Del Mar track in the $100,000 Cary Grant Stakes.
Trainer Peter Miller goes for the trifecta as he shoots to win the Cary Grant Stakes for the third year in a row with the same horse. The defending meet champion and current training standings leader will try to score again with the aptly named Solid Wager, a 6-year-old gelded son of Birdonthewire. Victor Espinoza rides again after guiding him to victory in the race last year.
“He’s a horse with a late kick and sometimes it’s hard for him to get there in time at a shorter distance. But seven-eighths seems to work out very well for him,” said Miller.
But Solid Wager is winless in seven starts this year, and can’t be counted on as a solid wager at 7-2 odds.
The favorite Edwards Going Left (3-1) should be pushing hard for a top spot at the wire as he has good tactical speed for trainer Jon Sadler. A pair of bullet works leading in along with four wins in his last six starts shows good form and speed as the most consistent horse in the field. One to include on top and exotics.
Smokey Image (8-1) is not as consistent but could be there at the end as he settles off the pace and has enough speed with jockey Gary Stevens the right rider to get a piece of the money.
Peter Miller’s other two entries are California Diamond (15-1) winless over the last 12 months, and Prime Issue (10-1), a 7-year-old who is the speed of the speed in the race and will be running on the lead. Prime Issue has four wins in 10 starts at Del Mar including this summer.
“Prime Issue has a lot of speed and California Diamond, who we’ve tried on turf the last two times, is probably better on the dirt,” Miller said. “They’ve all three been training here and training well, so hopefully one can get the job done.”