Mick Fessler of Cal West Racing has many fond memories of the distance star Truly A Pleasure.
“Trainer Hal Coggan had this 870-yard star named Truly A Pleasure,” Fessler said. “I went many times to Hal’s place and had a chance to pet Truly A Pleasure. That horse was my buddy. He was a super 870-yard horse.”
That personal connection is what made winning the $20,000 Truly A Pleasure Handicap with the Thoroughbred Oh Daddy Oh special for Fessler, who campaigns the 4-year-old gelding by Scat Daddy in partnership with trainer Lorenzo Ruiz.
“We claimed Oh Daddy Oh for $3,200 and in his next race we won an allowance race,” Fessler said. “We were hoping to run him in a five furlong race on the turf at Del Mar, but as it turned out we ran him in a 5 ½ furlong race on the dirt. We flew from the gate and ran the opening quarter in sizzling :21.1. He was flying early, but he just got too tired at the end. When this race came up, I knew we had a chance.”
Vinny Bednar piloted Oh Daddy Oh confidently in the Truly A Pleasure, as he rushed him to the front of the pack from the outside post number eight, before flying to the lead down the stretch en route to a half-length victory in a time of :45.489.
“I told Vinny to go to the lead and to not look back,” said Fessler with a smile. “I knew he would have a lot of horse left. All the credit goes to Lorenzo Ruiz. He’s the best. Lorenzo has really worked a lot with this horse to get him in top shape. I can’t say enough about Lorenzo’s great horsemanship.”
Oh Daddy Oh earned $11,000 for the win to take his career earnings to $108,020. The victory also improved his record to eight wins in 19 career starts. Bred by Bill and Phyllis Adair, Oh Daddy Oh has now won five of his last seven starts.
“I would like to run him at Del Mar again this season,” Fessler added. “We’ll do what’s best for the horse and find him some good races. We really love this horse.”
Noel Ayala’s Councilman was rolling late in the race while moving up from sixth place to finish second in the Truly A Pleasure. Trained by Angela Aquino, Councilman has finished in the top three in each of his last nine starts at the Orange County oval. Councilman’s record during that span includes one victory, six runner-up finishes, and a pair of third place finishes. Ridden by Adolfo Rodriguez, his second place finish in the Truly A Pleasure earned him $4,500. C.J. Gonsalves’ Changing Karma, the second place finisher in last year’s Calyx Handicap, finished third in the Truly A Pleasure for trainer Tom Bazley. Justamitch, which came into this race after winning his last two outings, had to settle for fourth place. Uncle Rudy, Sir Kip, Price Of Glory, and Cousin Ricky completed the field.