Del Mar racetrack hosted a stakes doubleheader on Saturday, Aug. 6. In the Grade III, $150,000 La Jolla Handicap, 25-1 long shot Free Rose (pictured, second from right) led from start to finish, and held off Lucky Bryan to prevail by a half-length. Moonlight Drive was another half-length behind in third.
The 3-year-old Free Rose, with Joe Talamo in the saddle, traveled the 1 1/16 miles on the turf course in 1:40.73.
“I got the horse late at Santa Anita, so I’ve had him for almost two months,” trainer Richard Baltas said. “He looked like a nice horse on the turf (in races at Churchill Downs and Keeneland). I didn’t think he could be this kind to begin with, but his last race (July 23 at Del Mar) he ran a very good race when third against some tough older horses. (Saturday), he controlled the pace and he really gutted it out when he was challenged.”
Free Rose, owned by Abbondanza Racing, is expected to run next in the Grade II, $250,000 Del Mar Derby on Sept. 4.
In the day’s co-feature, Champagne Room recorded her first victory, which came in the Grade II, $200,000 Sorrento Stakes.
Additional stakes winners at Del Mar this past week included Green With Eddie ($100,000 Graduation Stakes), So Sweetitiz ($85,380 Daisycutter Handicap) and Sobradora Inc ($80,035 Osunitas Stakes).