Hunt (Ire)

  • 2017 Del Mar Handicap Presented by the Japan Racing Association
Breeders' Cup Challenge

Hunt (IRE)

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Since making his first seven starts in his native Ireland, Hunt has had a strong connection to Southern California where he has raced exclusively for the past two years. He will have a home court advantage on Breeders’ Cup Saturday at Del Mar where he won the Eddie Read Stakes in July and added the “Win and You’re In” Del Mar Handicap on August 19. He is trained by Phil D’Amato, a native of Southern California and one of Del Mar’s leading trainers. Hunt’s owner, Michael House, is in the industrial building business and resides in Rancho Santa Fe about five miles northeast of Del Mar.

A one-time winner in Ireland, Hunt was a close second in his North American debut at Del Mar in the summer of 2015. Five months later, he earned his initial stateside victory in a Santa Anita allowance race in February 2016. After proving himself repeatedly in the allowance ranks, Hunt won a minor stakes and was third in the 2016 Eddie Read. A year later, Hunt won the 1 1/8 race and left D’Amato wondering if his next start would be at a longer or shorter distance.

He correctly opted for the 1 3/8 mile Del Mar Handicap, which confirmed Hunt’s quality and earned him a guaranteed spot in the starting gate for the Turf.

D’Amato was a key assistant to another California standout, Mike Mitchell, for 10 years. When Mitchell retired in 2014, D’Amato opened his own stable. (Mitchell died the following year.) D’Amato won the 2016 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with former Mitchell trainee Obviously (IRE).

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BC Challenge Races Won

  • 2017 Del Mar Handicap Presented by the Japan Racing Association

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