Saturday, August 27, 2011

Down at Old Del Mar

No complaints about this view of the races! Thanks to Bob Feld for the margarita.

The worst thing about going to Del Mar, is leaving Del Mar. Ten minutes before I left for the airport to return home, I was in a hammock enjoying a cool ocean breeze and this view, so you can just imagine the willpower it took to get up:

View from a  barn hammock, snapped with my iPhone. Forty minutes later, I was standing in my socks waiting with a few hundred people to go through airport security.

But as always, it was wonderful to be there, even for a whistle-stop tour that allowed for just one day of racing. And after my “work” was done, I had a few free hours to spend with friends on the backside the morning I left, which made the aggravation of one missed connection and one nearly missed connection -- we pulled in at the gate with ten minutes for me to change terminals -- in three days’ time, and the misery of getting sick (which I’m really feeling today) in the process, worthwhile.

It was overcast on both mornings at Del Mar so I missed getting pictures of some good horses and deleted blurry photos of others, but here are some:

My first stop off the plane was to see old friends, equine and human. Here are two of them: Grade 1 winner Harmonious with her groom Mario behind her. Look at those great dapples!

Grade 2 winner The Factor schooling in the paddock ahead of Sunday's Pat O'Brien S.-G1.
Grade 1 winner and Pacific Classic contender Game On Dude schooling.
Grade 2 winner Banned, trained by Tom Proctor. iPhone picture.
Unraced two-year-old El Corredor filly Zella (Jacqueline up) accompanied by John Shirreffs on the pony.
Del Mar Mile-G2 entrant Mr. Commons on the track.
Mr. Commons (Max up).
Mr. Commons cooling off...
...and hamming it up.
Harmonious and Max heading to the track on Thursday morning.
Eblouissante (held by Bruce) about to get her feet trimmed by Tom Halpenny (behind).
Another of Eblouissante, Zenyatta's two-year-old half-sister by Bernardini.
Grade 1 winner Nereid.
Tiz Golden, a Tiznow in today for Ron Ellis. I love his markings.
Ultimate Decision, a Rock Hard Ten three-year-old running in a maiden special weight today for Ron Ellis.
Grade 1 winner Stately Victor about to leave for a pre-Pacific Classic workout.
Recent maiden special weight winner Drill, a son of Lawyer Ron trained by Bob Baffert.
Roger Attfield's Grade 3 winner Don Cavallo, another Pacific Classic horse.


  1. Frances, This makes me feel almost like I'm back at "ol' Del Mar." Loved the pix, as usual, but especially thought the ones of The Factor and Eblouissante were informative. The ones of Harmonious most lovely. Nice horses all, but I thought A-blue needs to keep on maturing and that The F is looking quite strong. Hmmmm.
    You have great will power. Much underrated, that. Frank.

  2. Beautiful photos. I'd like your permission to use the picture of Drill for a pedigree profile, which will be published both on my website and on Horse Racing Nation. Of course, I will give you full credit. Please email be back either way ASAP, as I would like to post the article no later than tomorrow.

    Laurie Ross