Sunday, August 2, 2009

Cougar II Handicap Wednesday at Del Mar

Wednesday, Aug. 5, marks the 59th running of the Cougar II Handicap for three-year-olds and up at a mile and a half on the Polytrack.

Cougar II (1966-1989) raced in Chile before being brought to the United States in 1970 by longtime Santa Anita track announcer and horse owner, Joe Hernandez. Cougar II, trained by the great Charlie Whittingham, was known as a tremendous closer and was voted Champion Male Turf Horse in 1972.

In 2006, Cougar II was inaugurated into racing's Hall of Fame and, in his honor, Del Mar Racetrack renamed the Escondido Handicap the Cougar II Handicap. The stakes serves as a prep race for the Breeders' Cup Marathon. Here's how the field lines up:

Cougar II Handicap
$150,000 Guaranteed
One And One Half Miles (All Weather) – 3-Year-Olds and Up

1 GHETTO (GB '05 C 114 Talamo, J Dollase, Craig
2 ZAPPA '02 G 116 Baze, Sadler, John
3 BIG BOOSTER '01 G 119 Rosario, J Mitchell, Mike
4 MR. BIG '03 H 113 Smith, M Baffert, Bob
5 QUARTER MOON '05 G 112 Garcia, M Stute, Melvin
6 CHURCH SERVICE '03 G 119 Gomez, G Mitchell, Mike
7 RICHARD'S KID '05 C 115 Espinoza, V Baffert, Bob
8 GANGBUSTER '05 C 116 Nakatani, C Desormeaux, J.
9 UNUSUAL SUSPECT '04 H 116 Quinonez, A Abrams, Barry
10 SIR DAVE '05 G 117 Baze, M Carava, Jack


zraces said...

This cut from SD online:
Del Mar racetrack holds contest for Miss Cougar

2:00 a.m. August 3, 2009

Women who consider themselves “cougars” are invited to apply for the crown of Miss Cougar Del Mar 2009.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which operates the horse races, announced the new contest to promote the Cougar II Handicap, the longest race of the seven-week meet at 1.5 miles.

“Del Mar won't hide that the seaside track is known for attracting cougars of all kinds,” the club said in a statement announcing the contest. “The mature ladies on the prowl have come to be a staple element of Del Mar's charm.”

To apply, submit a photo, contact information and one sentence describing qualifications to be crowned Miss Cougar to by 5 p.m. tomorrow. Photos will be posted on

The winner will be announced Wednesday, and will be invited to present the Cougar II Handicap race trophy that afternoon.

The winner will receive four passes for Friday's races. –T.M.

D.S. Williamson said...

While I am mainly interested in the races, I have to admit the crowd contests have a certain appeal. On with the races.....

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