Madam Dancealot Surprises in San Clemente Handicap
Madam Dancealot (IRE) © Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
Irish-bred Madam Dancealot, sent postward as the longest shot in the field at 21-1, rallied from last place under jockey Jamie Theriot to win Sunday’s featured $200,000 San Clemente Handicap for three-year-old fillies.
Madam Dancealot, owned by Slam Dunk Racing’s Nick Cosato of Sierra Madre, Ca, rallied on the far outside entering the stretch and wore down 9-5 second choice Lull in the final sixteenth to score convincingly by a length and three-quarters in 1:34.75 over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Lull, an invader from the east coast trained by Christophe Clement and piloted by Brian Hernandez, Jr., held on well for second, a half-length in front of previously-unbeaten Sircat Sally, the 7-5 favorite. Another half-length back in fourth was Storm the Hill. Noted and Quoted was scratched from the original field.
Madam Dancealot, a daughter of Sir Prancealot trained by Richard Baltas, competed in England as a two-year-old and the San Clemente marked her first stakes victory in the United States. The chestnut filly, scoring her fourth win in a dozen starts, earned $120,000 to up her bankroll to $219,775. She returned $44.40, $14.80 and $4.80. Baltas also won the 2016 San Clemente with Mokat.
Runner-up Lull paid $4.20 and $2.60, while Sircat Sally, suffering her first defeat after seven triumphs, returned $2.40.
The $79,190 Wickerr Stakes was Sunday’s supporting feature and it was won by Blackjackcat ridden by Gary Stevens. Blackjackcat scored by a half-length over 6-5 favored Vyjack, with Calculator third in a field of seven older runners.
Blackjackcat, owned by Al and Sandee Kirkwood and trained by Mark Glatt, ran the one mile on the grass in 1:35.20 and returned $13 after his fourth win in 12 starts.
Trainer Peter Eurton had a banner afternoon as he sent out three winners – Newport Breeze at $20.20 in the first, Sheswildnfree at $11 in the second and Secret Touch at $9 in the sixth.
There were no perfect tickets in Sunday’s Pick Six so Wednesday’s program will have a carryover of $96,599. The single ticket Super Jackpot carryover is $89,338. Post time for the first race Wednesday is 2 p.m.
JAMIE THERIOT (Madam Dancealot, winner) – “No special instructions here; I just rode the race as it came up. The key with her was to get her to relax. She’s coming off races down the hillside (at Santa Anita) and she’s got speed, but she needed to relax. I worked her last week and she relaxed fine for me, so I was feeling good coming into this race. When we turned for home, I thought she was really going to finish strong for me. And she surely did.”
BRIAN HERNANDEZ, JR. (Lull, second) – “The plan actually was to take her back and cover her up. But she broke so well and nobody else was going, so I just let her run along up there. She was going easy and turning for home I thought I was a winner. But that other filly (Madam Dancealot) was really motoring and she just went on by.”
DRAYDEN VAN DYKE (Sircat Sally, third) – “I pulled her up on the backside (after the race) and got off her. It felt to me like she was maybe a little off in her right front. It didn’t seem to be anything serious, but I didn’t want to take any chances. She usually gives me a big kick at the end, but it wasn’t there today. Maybe something was going on during the race, though she didn’t show it. I think she’s going to be OK.”
(Sircat Sally was returned to her barn for further evaluation.)
RICHARD BALTAS (Madam Dancelot, winner) – “The way she was finishing the last two races on the grass down the hill at Santa Anita, I thought she could get a mile. She’s settled now, she’s relaxed and when she was last down the backside, I was like ‘Wow.’ I know she can run and when a good horse gets settled like that they’re going to run at the end, and she did.”
FRACTIONS: :23.17 :46.31 1:10.55 1:22.70 1:34.75
The stakes win was the first at Del Mar for rider Theriot.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Baltas, but his second in the San Clemente. He won last year’s running with Mokat. He now has nine stakes wins at Del Mar.
Madam Dancealot’s owner is Nick Cosato of Sierra Madre, CA.