Published Saturday, November 18th, 2023   ( 2 weeks ago )

The Chosen Vron Wins Again; 'Like You' Also Scores at Del Mar

The Chosen VronThe Chosen Vron © Benoit Photo

The California-bred win machine did what he was supposed to do today.

The flashy chestnut The Chosen Vron moved forward early, then accelerated late as is his style and came away a two and three-quarter length winner of the $100,000 Cary Grant Stakes at Del Mar, capturing his 14th victory in his 19th start in yet another display of his exceptional ability.

The 5-year-old gelding by the late sire Vronsky earned a check for $57,000 and pushed his career bankroll to $1,149,678 for running seven furlongs in a quick 1:21.22. Rider Hector Berrios won his ninth stakes on the horse, who is owned by the partnership of Sondereker Racing, J. Eric Kruljac, Robert Fetkin and Richard Thornburgh. Kruljac conditions the horse.

Finishing second in the Cal-bred feature was William Peeples’ Big City Lights, who has now run second to The Chosen Vron in his last four starts. Running third four and a quarter lengths back was R L Stables’ Moose Mitchell.

The Chosen Vron, a stout 1/ 2 favorite, returned $3.00 to his backers.

In his previous two outings, the winner had run fifth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Santa Anita on November 4, after proving best in the Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on July 29. He also had won the Cary Grant last year.

Earlier on the card, the big juvenile filly Nothing Like You stuck her nose out at the wire for rider Juan Hernandez and came away a winner by a whisker in the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes.

The daughter of Malibu Moon, owned by the partnership of Georgia Antley Hunt, Jeff Giglio and John Rogitz, earned a first prize of $60,000 for running the seven furlongs in 1:23.03. Bob Baffert trains her.

Finishing second was SAF Racing, Haymes, McCadden and Strauss’ Tambo, who had two and a quarter lengths on Michael Tabor’s Royal Slipper, the 2/5 favorite in the field of five young fillies.

Nothing Like You, who scored her first victory in her fourth start in a straight maiden affair last out at Santa Anita on October 14, now shows earnings of $117,160. She paid $11.40 to her Saturday afternoon backers.

Racing resumes at Del Mar tomorrow with a first post at 12:30 p.m.

HECTOR BERRIOS (The Chosen Vron, winner) – “He was running good today. I didn’t know if I was going to be on the lead, but I was good either way. Is this the best horse I’ve ever ridden? ‘YES!’ Is he fun to ride? ‘YES!’

(Berrios first rode in his native Chile starting in 2005. Won over 2,500 races there, including one day where he won nine of the 10 races offered. He rode in the U.S. from 2011 to 2013, then returned to Chile. He returned stateside to stay in 2018. He has now won nine times on The Chosen Vron, all stakes.)

ERIC KRULJAC (The Chosen Vron, winner) – “He’s been unreal. Coming back in two weeks is something I’ve never done. I was a little nervous but he came back so well and so fast from Breeders’ Cup. The horse was so lively today maybe we’ll just let him roll early from now on. Once he started widening I felt pretty certain. What a blessing this horse is.”

FRACTIONS:  :22.76  :44.94  1:09.00  1:21.22

The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Berrios and his second in the Cary Grant (won it with The Chosen Vron last year). He now has 11 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Kruljac and his second in the Cary Grant (won it with The Chosen Vron last year). He now has six stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners are Sondereker Racing, J. Eric Kruljac Robert Fetkin and Richard Thornburgh.