DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) - Enterprising won the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-olds by 1 1/4 lengths as turf racing resumed at Del Mar on Saturday.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Enterprising ran 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:41.31 and paid $5, $3.80 and $2.80.
I’ll Wrap It Up returned $10 and $4, while Sammy Mandeville was another half-length back in third and paid $4.20 to show.
Turf racing had been suspended for six days after the deaths or injuries to several horses. It resumed with three races on Saturday, when there were no incidents.
Serious, a 4-year-old filly who broke bones in her left front foot on July 31, is recovering. She was injured in a five-furlong turf sprint, forcing the seaside track to suspend turf races while it worked on the recently installed course, which replaced the original 53-year-old course.
“I think it really is a good course,” Smith said. “I thought so right from the start. It was firm, but it had a nice bounce to it. Now it might even be better. Horses go over it smooth, quiet. You don’t hear any of that clump, clump, clump on the backstretch. It’s all good. By the time we’re done here, this course might be as good as any in the country.”
When the course was closed for six days, track crews aerated it, used additional watering and adjusted its inner rail to the 24-foot marker, allowing for horses to race on fresher turf.
Del Mar has two turf races scheduled for Sunday.