Tom Beckerle, Saul Carrillo, and Terry C. Lovingier's AT THE SPA was patiently ridden by jockey Tyler Baze, enduring traffic problems along the rail before bursting through an opening and capturing Thursday's $100K CTBA Stakes at Del Mar.
This win gave trainer Jorge Periban his very first stakes victory at Del Mar.
Sent off at odds of 5-2, AT THE SPA broke well for jockey Tyler Baze and raced in fourth, two lengths off of pacesetter KO OLINA who pushed the opening quarters in 21.69 and 46.15. It was a strung-out field of more than ten to twelve lengths front to back.
"We've been training her in the morning to run like this; to come from behind, take a little dirt in her face," said winning jockey Tyler Baze.
"I think she gets more aggressive when that happens. Today I saw that hole and knew it was my only shot. My filly was up for it; there wasn't much room there, but she got through. She ran like the horse I know she is. She doesn't like to get beat."
As they rounded the turn, AT THE SPA is full of run but finds herself boxed behind horses, having to steady repeatedly while looking for running room. But the ever-so patient Tyler Baze foregoes swinging her to the outside, where she would've been caught five-wide, and is rewarded by the rail opening up.
AT THE SPA muscles her way through and accelerates nicely through the stretch, outkicking rivals DRIZELLA and MADIHA to the wire. DRIZELLA, who struck the front at one point in deep stretch, ultimately conceded the lead and had to settle for second by a neck. It was a head back to MADIHA in third. The final time for the five and one-half furlongs on dirt was 1:06.11.
AT THE SPA paid $8.20 to win, $4.40 to place, and $3.60 to show. She is by OUTWORK out of SPA CREEK by SMOKE GLACKEN. She improves to three wins in a row, pushes her earnings to $164,580, and ties her top speed figure for the second straight time.
"She showed me a lot today. She showed that she can come from behind" said winning trainer Jorge Periban.
"Most of the time she breaks in front. We had a few problems in the stretch but we got lucky to get inside and get the money. We will wait and see about (next race), but maybe the Debutante (Grade 1, September 5) and if we get lucky, maybe the Breeders' Cup."
Source: Equibase, MacMcbride, DMTC