Horse racing: Del Mar leaders, notes


Until Thursday


Abel Cedillo / 13

Mike Smith / 7

Tyler Baze / 6

Tiago Pereira / 6

Three tied / 5


Peter Miller / 7

Richard Baltas / 6

Richard Mandella / 6

Bob Baffert / 4

Doug O’Neill / 4



• $ 100,000 Grade III Native Diver Stakes, 3 years and up, 1-1 / 8 miles


• $ 100,000 Cary Grant Stakes, 3 year olds and raised in California, 7 stages


Jockey Aaron Gryder, 50, will retire next month after driving a few races in Dubai. Longtime jockey Rudy Campas encouraged Gryder to pursue his dream of riding when he was 12, and over 4,000 wins later, the rest is history. “Rudy said I had to go down (to Caliente, in Tijuana), make some mistakes, learn to drive and get some confidence,” Gryder recalls. ‘He said to me,’ If you want to make a good impression in California, you better go up there and get the butterflies out and make some of those immature mistakes you’re going to make early in your career. That was the best advice I have ever received. “

• Golden Gate Fields, owned by Santa Anita’s parent company, The Stronach Group, will remain closed for the remainder of the month to address a COVID-19 outbreak. The track announced last Friday that it would delay racing for a week, and on Wednesday management announced that the suspension would last through November. All track facilities have undergone a thorough cleaning and track-wide COVID-19 tests have been conducted on all employees and everyone working on the backstretch. The 1,300 horses stabled on site will continue to receive the daily grooming and exercise they need.

• Midcourt heads a short field of five horses in Saturday’s $ 100,000 Grade III Native Diver Stakes at Del Mar. Native Diver was the first California-bred to make $ 1 million, finishing his career with 81 starts between 1961 and ’67. Midcourt, a 5-year-old son of Midnight Lute, has won five of the 14 starts, including a 5-3 / 4-long win in last year’s Native Diver. Midcourt, trained by John Shirreffs, is ridden again by Victor Espinoza and is 4-5 on the morning line. One of his main threats is the John Sadler-trained Combatant, who won the Santa Anita Handicap in March this year.

– Art Wilson