He Will Rallies to Win Lure Stakes
He Will © Benoit Photo
Under a masterfully-timed ride by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, He Will, a lukewarm 5-2 favorite, rallied from next-to-last turning for home to charge to the lead in the final strides and win the featured $93,580 Lure Stakes Thursday at Del Mar.
In a blanket finish with five horses separated by only a length at the wire, He Will prevailed by a neck over Tequila Joe, who nosed out A Red Tie Day for second. Forever Juanito was only a half-length farther back in fourth place, a nose in front of Eckersley in the field of nine older horses. Withdrawn from the race was Dimension.
He Will, a five-year-old California-bred son of Cyclotron, raced the mile on the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course in 1:35.33 and returned $7.80, $4.40 and $3.40 while recording his sixth triumph in 19 starts for owners All Schlaich Stable and Team Green and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. First money of $60,720 increased his earnings to $322,619.
Runner-up Tequila Joe, who was piloted by Joel Rosario, paid $8 and $5, while A Red Tie Day returned $5.60 to show.
Breeders’ Cup weekend begins Friday with a ten-race program starting at 11:25 a.m., and featuring four championship races, including the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Saturday’s climactic 12-race program, highlighted by nine BC contests, begins at 10:10 a.m., ending with the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
MIKE SMITH (He Will, winner) – “I didn’t get away from there as quick as I wanted. He was moving when they sent them and I was just a little behind. I didn’t want to put him up in the race, so I just took a hold and saved some ground on that first turn. I said ‘Let me see if I can get them going wide on the second turn.’ It worked out pretty good.”
JOEL ROSARIO (Tequila Joe, second) – “I thought for a second we might win, but the horse on the outside (winner He Will) was a little better in the end. I got through at the last sixteenth pole and my horse kept going. But the other horse came with a stronger finish.”
JERRY HOLLENDORFER (He Will, winner) – “When I saw him really cut loose, I thought he could run them down, basically. Another really good race.”
FRACTIONS: :23.80 :47.75 1:11.51 1:23.28 1:35.33
The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Smith and this was the first time the Lure Stakes had been run at Del Mar. He now has 63 stakes wins at Del Mar, 11th most of all time.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Hollendorfer. He now has 30 stakes wins at Del Mar, 12th best all time.
The owners are Mark Schlaich of Concord, CA; Team Green (Andrew Hillas of Woodland Hills, CA); George Todaro of Seattle, Mark Randall and trainer Hollendorfer.