Sunday, August 5th, 2018   ( 11 months ago )

Prat Sweeps Sunday Stakes, Wins La Jolla 'Cap, Sorrento Stakes

Bellafina © Benoit Photo

Kaleem Shah’s Bellafina, an $800,000 purchase last March, completed a sweep of Del Mar’s Sunday stakes doubleheader for jockey Flavien Prat as she led from wire-to-wire to win the Grade II $200,000 Sorrento Stakes for two-year-old fillies. Earlier in the program, Prat won the Grade III $150,000 La Jolla Handicap for three-year-olds.

Bellafina, a daughter of Quality Road bought out of the Fasig-Tipton two-year-olds in training auction in Florida, stepped to the front out of the gate and never appeared threatened as she breezed to the wire four and one-quarter lengths on top. The filly was upset at 1-2 odds in her debut  July 4 at Los Alamitos, finishing second. Trainer Simon Callaghan equipped his filly with blinkers for the Sorrento Stakes. Final time for the six furlongs was 1:10.61.

Del Mar May, like Bellafina a maiden in the Sorrento Stakes, went postward the favorite at 5-2 and ran second in a game outing, nosing out Boujie Girl, with Dragic another length back in fourth in the field of ten fillies.

Bellafina, second choice in the betting at 3-1, returned $8.40, $4.40 and $3.40 while earning first money of $120,000. Del Mar May, second to the talented Brill in her only race on opening day, July 18, paid $4 and $3.40, while Boujie Girl returned $5.60 to show.

In the La Jolla Handicap earlier on the program, Irish-bred River Boyne, the odds-on favorite under Prat, came through as expected with a decisive victory. Rallying in the stretch, River Boyne scored by a comfortable length and one-quarter over the fast-closing Arawak, with early pacemaker Calexman third and Inscom fourth in the field of six three-year-olds.

Restrainedvengence, winner of the Oceanside Stakes, was fifth in front of last-place Move Over.

River Boyne, a son of Dandy Man, is owned by Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal and trained by Jeff Mullins. The victory was the colt’s fifth in ten starts and first prize of $90,000 increased his earnings to $361,718.

The winner, sent off at 1-2, paid $3, $2.40 and $2.10. Arawak, a 10-1 outsider in the mutuels, returned $5 and $3.40, while Calexman paid $2.80 to show.

There were no perfect tickets in Sunday’s Pick Six. Wednesday’s card will have a Pick Six carryover of $91,748.

FLAVIEN PRAT (Bellafina, winner) – “I was (drawn) inside and didn’t want to get stuck behind horses. So I let her roll out of there. She’s got some speed and she was comfortable. I asked her for her kick on the turn and she gave it to me. She felt good and I think she’ll run farther, too.”

STEWART ELLIOTT (Del Mar May, second) – “I really couldn’t tell how much horse I had as we went along in there. On the turn I didn’t want to go five wide, so I went down inside horses and wasn’t sure if she could handle that. But she did and when I wheeled her out she came running. Good effort for her.”

GEOVANNI FRANCO (Boujie Girl, third) – “My filly ran good. The winner was very impressive. I think our outside post cost us. It didn’t help, that’s for sure.”

SIMON CALLAGHAN (Bellafina, winner) – “She showed us in the afternoon what she has been showing us in the morning. I actually didn’t expect her to be on the lead; I just told Flavien (Prat) to break and take it from there. I think she’s a filly with a big future and she’s just going to keep getting better. I don’t want to say yes, definitely (to the Del Mar Debutante). It’s a possibility, but when you’ve got a filly that you think this much of, it’s better to be a little patient and work your way back from the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies .”

FRACTIONS:  :21.82  :45.25  :57.37  1:10.61

The stakes win was the fourth (tied for most with Drayden Van Dyke) of the meet, but the first in the Sorrento for rider Prat. He now has 27 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet and the first in the Sorrento for trainer Callaghan. He now has eight stakes wins at Del Mar.

Winning owner Kaleem Shah has homes in Vienna, VA and San Diego, CA.