Willow Grace Farm and Michael Lund Petersen's GRACE ADLER offered a stunning display of talent, circling horses five-wide and kicking on home to a 11 1/4-length victory in Sunday's $300K Del Mar Debutante (G1) at Del Mar.
The victory gave trainer Bob Baffert his third-straight Debutante title, and 10th overall. He surpassed D. Wayne Lukas who had nine.
"She's a really good filly," Bob Baffert told TVG after the race. "Hopefully she stays healthy, and we bring her back for the Breeders' Cup here."
Sent off at odds of $4.60-to-win and ridden by Flavien Prat, GRACE ADLER broke sharply but was content to lag back and cede the lead to a flight of speedsters, who showed the way through opening quarters of 21.78 and 44.37. GRACE ADLER raced from off the pace, sheltered from the blistering fractions by at least five lengths.
Turning for home, the field was coming back to her fast. Guided to the five-path, away from any possible traffic, GRACE ADLER circled the field and powered on by, widening to 11 1/4 lengths by the wire. DANCE TO THE MUSIC held on for second, BICAMERAL rallied to get up for third. The final time for the seven furlongs on dirt was 1:23.76.
"No special instructions for me," Prat said after the race. "Bob just told me that she wasn't as fast as the other fillies, but that she'd come running. He was certainly right. It might have looked like I moved too early with her, but it was more a case of them coming back to me. We were going forward and they were coming back."
GRACE ADLER paid $11.20 to win, $4.80 to place, and $4.20 to show. She is by CURLIN out of OUT KHRYSTY by NEWFOUNDLAND, and bred by Blue Heaven Farm. She makes it two wins in a row, pushes her earnings to $222,000 and produces a new top speed figure for the effort.
"I wasn't happy with [stablemate] EDA's position early because they were going way too fast up front. GRACE ADLER is a really good filly and when she started to make her move, you could tell by Trevor Denman's voice that she was really making up the ground. They're both good fillies, it's just too bad that EDA got caught up in a speed duel. It was set up for GRACE ADLER."
Closing Day at Del Mar: Mandatory Pick 6 Payout
Sunday's Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot wager was not hit, so today (Mon. September 6th) offers a "mandatory" payout.
The pot is projected to draw "new" money to the tune of over $5 million, added to the $694,803 pot being carried over. That's a total pool approaching $6-million to start the betting for closing day of Del Mar's summer meet.
First Post Time on Monday is 1:30 PM PT, with Pick Six races running from Race 5 through Race 10. The Pick Six's Post Time is 3:30 PM. Good luck and enjoy!
Source: Equibase, DMTC, Horse Racing Nation