Horse Racing News on July 20, 2011

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela first came to Del Mar as a fresh-faced, 16-year-old apprentice, and though both he and Del Mar have matured in the three decades since, both retained their youthful enthusiasm on opening day on Wednesday.
Literally and figuratively, the heat is on the New York Racing Association as it prepares to open the doors Friday for the 143rd Saratoga meeting.
After flirting with the Triple Crown, Mr. Commons came back to his first love on Wednesday, scoring an impressive victory on turf in the $112,100 Oceanside Stakes, the opening-day feature at Del Mar.
National Football League wide receiver Wes Welker may have more important things on his mind at the moment than a horse race.
The graded stakes winners Aggie Engineer and Victor's Cry will pass Saturday's Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar in favor of upcoming stakes at this meeting.
Pool Play, a candidate for the Grade 1 Whitney on Aug. 6, has suffered what for all intents and purposes is a career-ending injury, trainer Mark Casse revealed Wednesday. Pool Play is owned by Bill Farish Jr.
A field of only five 3-year-old fillies was drawn Wednesday for Saturday's $250,000 Coaching Club American Oaks, the first of 17 Grade 1 races to be run here this summer.

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