Del Mar’s Graduation Stakes for California-bred or -sired thoroughbreds is not on everyone’s list of important prep races for two-year-olds on the Triple Crown trail but it has produced a few good runners.
Georgie Boy won the 2008 edition of the Graduation stakes and he would finish the Del Mar meet with a second-place in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) and a win in the Del Mar Futurity (G1).
Officer won in 2001 and he would go on to finish his two-year-old season with a win in the Champagne Stakes (G1), the Graduation Stakes and Del Mar Futurity, a second in the California Cup Juvenile Stakes and a third in the Hollywood Futurity (G1).
A field of 10 horses will enter the starting gate in the $100,000 5 ½ furlong Graduation Stakes this Wednesday.
I believe that there are several horses that are entered in the Graduation Stakes who could win. But, of the ten that are entered, Bertran Hill (3), Daylight Storm (9) and Roman Counsel (10) look the most promising.
Of those three, I’d give the edge to Daylight Storm. He was impressive in his last outing winning gate-to-wire with open lengths. His sire, Stormy Jack, is also the sire of the speedy Bob Black Jack who set a new 6-furlong world record of 1:06.53 in the Sunshine Millions Dash at Santa Anita. He also set a new Santa Anita 7-furlong track record of 1:20.37.
Daylight Storm’s grandsire, Bertrando, and his damsire, Cat Thief, are multiple graded stakes winners – each with over $3 million in earnings.
Bertran Hill and Roman Counsel should also be tough in this race. Bertran Hill’s sire, Bertrando, is also the sire of Officer who won the 2001 Graduation Stakes. Roman Counsel’s sire, Roman Ruler was a multiple graded stakes winner and his grandsire, Fusaichi Pegasus, was the winner of the 2000 Kentucky Derby.
Win/Place = 9
Exactas/Trifectas = 3-9-10