Horse racing

Del Mar loving life

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

DEL MAR —- It’s good to be the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, especially on Saturday.

Bettors wager a record $761,679.80 in the low takeout Pick 5, $337,895.94 in the Pick 6 and $822,781.34 in the Pick 4.

Overall, Del Mar was up $1.6 million in total betting handle over day No. 9 of the meet in 2012. Total handle today was $17 million and it was $15.4 million a year ago.

Wow. Looks like no cares if there is an inside speed bias —- and there still is on after two weeks of the meet.

On the track, Kettle Corn ($9.20) beat the favored Paynter in the featured San Diego Handicap.

Paynter, one of Bob Baffert’s big horses who almost died a year ago, was not disgraced in defeat, losing by a half-length in his second race of his comeback.

Baffert said on Twitter: “PAYNTER ran a great race. He should move forward after that. They ran fast.”

Jockey Rafael Bejarano seemed to have a different opinion.

“He never seemed comfortable out there. I felt like I had plenty of horse, but he just wasn’t liking what he was doing. He was right there on the turn, but he didn’t have enough at the end.”

For a second race back, it looked pretty good, especially when you consider Kettle Corn just missed the track record at 1 1/16th mile on the Polytrack. Kettle Corn ran a 1:41.83 and the record set by Zenyatta is 1:41.48.

The other stakes race of the day, the Fleet Treat, was a highlight for another reason.

There was a $200,000 show bet made at Santa Anita into Del Mar’s pool on 7-10 favorite Doinghardtimeagain.

There was plenty of cheering when Doinghardtimeagain finished fourth, missing third place by a neck.

It triggered huge show prices of $8.40, $25.40 and $26.60.

Some people in the press box were very happy to take the money and run.


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