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The 31-day summer racing season at Del Mar is near the halfway point. Courtesy photo
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Inside Information: Big pot still out there as Del Mar nears halfway mark

Week 4 (Day 14) is in the books and Week 5 begins on Thursday as we near the halfway point of the 31-day Summer Del Mar meeting.

Single Ticket Jackpot Pick Six pool is $1.1 million and growing!  If no one has the only ticket before — a mandatory payout on Saturday, Aug. 21 — The $1 million Pacific Classic.

Sixteen jockeys found their way into the winner’s circle over the past four days of racing (Thursday-Sunday) and 25 trainers saddled winners in 37 races.

Jockey Juan Hernandez made the best of leading rider Flavien Prat being in New York to ride at Saratoga this last weekend. Hernandez won seven races in four days to close a wide gap that Prat enjoyed. Prat has 21 wins, followed by Hernandez (17), Abel Cedillo (14) and Umberto Rispoli (13).

Among trainers, Peter Miller has 11 wins, followed by Bob Baffert (8), Mark Glatt (8), Phil D’Amato (5) and Richard Baltas (5).

Percentage of favorites winning: 33.6%. On dirt, it’s 32.8% and on turf, 34.6%.

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Good guys do finish first: Trainer Jorge Periban watched his brilliant 2-year-old filly (At the Spa) stay undefeated by winning the  $100,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders Association Stakes on Friday night.

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Ship & Win: Recently inducted Hall of Fame trainer Mark Casse won the Best Pal Stakes with his Papacap, son of 2017 Horse of the Year Gun Runner on Saturday, ridden by Joe Bravo. Casse was followed by trainer Micheal Stidham’s Princess Grace, who won the $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes under Kent Desormeaux.

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Big kudos to North County resident Aron Wellman of Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners (ETP), a horse racing partnership that is going great guns. Con Lima, his group’s 3-year-old filly won the Grade 3 Saratoga Oaks Invitational on Sunday from gate to wire. Con Lima, a purchase for $22,000, now has seven wins in 13 starts and has earned $884,865. She’s trained by another recently inductee in the Hall of Fame — Todd Pletcher

Ditto for Red Baron’s Barn owners, father and son Jed and Tim Cohen. We need a hundred more just like them … atop the owners leaderboard!

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Trainer Steve Asmussen set the record for most wins by a trainer with 9,446 on Saturday at Saratoga, breaking the mark set by the late Dale Baird, who was killed in an automobile crash in 2007 at age 72.

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For me, the greatest movie depicting horse racing is “Let It Ride” from 1989. The cast of that movie was led by Richard Dreyfuss, Jennifer Tilly, David Johansen and Terri Garr,  with a soundtrack from Giorgio Moroder (of Donna Summer fame) and adapted from a book (“Good Vibes”) written by Jay Cronley, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, newspaper columnist.

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Seen around town: Rick Pitino, former Kentucky and Louisville coach and now head coach at Iona, seen at Monarch Ocean Pub in Del Mar talking hoops.

Doug Kezirian, host of “The Daily Wager” on ESPN, along with Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSIN) host Matt Youmans seen hustling the hot spot action in Del Mar and dining at Villaggio Ristorante on Friday night, with Chef Jay Bartolomei crushing them with his world-acclaimed Bourbon Meatballs with Gnocchi.

PJ Tucker of the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and now with the Miami Heat, seen having California fun and food at Sbicca in Del Mar.

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Alce 101 in Solana Beach was the site of a fantastic dinner for several jockeys and friends last week. Hosted by owners Julie and Brad Evarts, who were just getting started as they watched their daughter Faye get married on Saturday. Best wishes and congratulations to all.

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I am elated to see a kid I coached in Snuffy Basketball back in the day, John Lynch, along with his brother Ryan, at the Barbara Harper San Dieguito Boys & Girls Club in Solana Beach, inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2021. John exemplified hard work, drive, class and toughness … and never showed ego in being who he is. So well deserved after being a finalist for seven long years.

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Special heavenly birthday: Roberto Clemente, first Latino inducted into MLB Hall of Fame. One of the greatest of all time, he would have been 87 on Aug. 18.

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Can somebody please explain to me why it’s taken three months to decide who officially won the Kentucky Derby?

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Plus, odds dropping drastically as races are being run needs to be revisited by racing aficionados and addressed. Let’s never forget about the Drexel boys and the 2002 Breeders Cup at Arlington Park! Just saying.

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It’s a women’s world: The USA women won more Olympic gold medals than the men did. They have come a long way, including winning the gold in volleyball for the first time … The USA Basketball men’s team, which lost to France in the preliminary rounds, bounced back and defeated the French for the gold medal. Great coaching by Gregg Popovich and assistant coaches including Steve Kerr and Jay Wright. USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo cried after the gold medal win. Plus, the USA women’s team won gold, going unbeaten.

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See you on the radio: Saturday, 9 a.m. on The Mightier 1090 AM. Countdown to college and pro football!

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