Elektrum © Zoe Metz Photography
Eleven evenly-matched older fillies and mares will match strides and stamina Saturday in the 50th running of the Grade III $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap at the marathon distance of a mile and three-eighths over Del Mar’s infield Jimmy Durante grass course.
Packing highweight of 122 pounds will be Irish-bred Elektrum, winner of the Grade II John C. Mabee last summer but a disappointment when finishing fourth at even-money behind Uzziel in the Goldikova Stakes three weeks ago. Triple Crown-winner Victor Espinoza again has the call from trainer John Sadler.
Shipping in from the East Coast for the Red Carpet, formerly called the Beverly Hills when it was run at Hollywood Park, are Trophee, trained by Christophe Clement and to be ridden by James Graham at 116 pounds; Personal Diary, the 2014 Del Mar Oaks winner trained by Vickie Oliver with Corey Nakatani aboard at 119, and Rusty Slipper, from the barn of Graham Motion with Silvestre de Sousa up at 118 pounds. Brazilian-born De Sousa, making his Del Mar debut, was England’s champion jockey this year and engineered the upset of the year when he rode 50-1 longshot Arabian Queen to a stunning upset of seemingly-invincible Golden Horn.
Others in the line-up are Energia Fribby, 115, Gary Stevens; Three Hearts, 119, Joe Talamo; Tiz Kissable, 115, Tyler Baze; Beat of the Drum, 117, Brice Blanc; Star Act, 116, Rafael Bejarano; Havanna Belle, 113, David C. Lopez; Customer Base, 117, Mike Smith, and on the also-eligible list, Soresca, 113, Santiago Gonzalez.
Post time for the first of nine races Saturday will be 12:30 p.m.