Princess Grace victorious in Grade II, $202,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap

Princess Grace on her way to her win in the Grade II, $202,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar.
Princess Grace on her way to her win in the Grade II, $202,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar.
(Kelley Carlson)

Princess Grace reigned over the top female West Coast turf runners with a victory in the Grade II, $202,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap on Aug. 7 at Del Mar.

After traveling midpack for most of the race, the 4-year-old filly took command at the top of the stretch, kicked clear from the field, and scored by 1 1/4 lengths over the favorite, Dogtag. Maxim Rate finished an additional 1 1/2 lengths behind in third.

With Kent Desormeaux aboard, Princess Grace traveled the 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:40.84.

“I will tell you this: This filly is tenacious and one of the most hard-trying fillies I’ve ever trained,” Michael Stidham said. “I trained her mother (Masquerade) and she was just like that – not quite as talented, but always digging in and trying to win every time out. This little filly has been at six different racetracks and she should be undefeated, the one loss was just unlucky. I don’t know what’s next, I haven’t looked past this race. This was going to be her test to step up to another league, and she obviously passed the test really well.”

Princess Grace is owned by Susan and John Moore of Far Hills, N.J.

The race prior to the Yellow Ribbon was the Grade II, $200,500 Best Pal Stakes for 2-year-olds. Pappacap - making his second career start - triumphed by 4 3/4 lengths.

Several other stakes races were contested during the four-day race weekend: the $201,500, Grade II Sorrento Stakes (won by Elm Drive); the $150,500, Grade III La Jolla Handicap (Zoffarelli); the $101,500 CTBA Stakes (At the Spa); and the $100,000 Graduation Stakes (Rock N Rye).

Racing continues Aug. 12, with a pair of minor stakes scheduled for the weekend and the Uncorked Wine Festival on Aug. 14.