Close race: Hong Kong Harry captures Grade II, $251,500 Seabiscuit Handicap

Hong Kong Harry
Hong Kong Harry (outside), Beyond Brilliant (middle) and Masteroffoxhounds (inside) in the stretch at the Grade II, $251,500 Seabiscuit Handicap on Nov. 26.
(Kelley Carlson)

Hong Kong Harry (outside) powered past Beyond Brilliant (middle) and Masteroffoxhounds (inside) in the stretch to win the Grade II, $251,500 Seabiscuit Handicap by a neck on Saturday, Nov. 26, at Del Mar (pictured above). Beyond Brilliant held on for second, a head in front of Masteroffoxhounds at the finish line.

Sent off as the race favorite, Hong Kong Harry finished the 1 1/16 miles on the turf in 1:39.79, a fifth of a second off the course record.

“(Jockey) Flavien (Prat) rode him with a lot of confidence,” said Hong Kong Harry’s trainer, Phil D’Amato. “He could sense they were flying up there. He waited a little bit longer than usual, but he came with a great, late kick, and the time was ultra-fast. This horse has got a heart of gold. He’s just one of those horses — he’s not the prettiest horse, but he’s got the best constitution, the best heart and the best turn of foot, lately.”

Hong Kong Harry, a 5-year-old gelding, is owned by Scott Anastasi, Jimmy Ukegawa and Tony Valazza.

Horses with local connections were victorious in the other stakes races during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend: Prince Abama in the Grade II, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (owned by Michael House of Rancho Santa Fe); Bellstreet Bridie in the Grade III, $151,500 Red Carpet Stakes (co-owned by Tim Cohen of Del Mar); and Defunded in the Grade III, $150,500 Native Diver Stakes (co-owned by part-time Del Mar resident Mike Pegram).

Next weekend will be the final one of Del Mar’s Bing Crosby meet. There will be five graded stakes races — including two Grade I events — and on Closing Day, Dec. 4, racegoers can receive free entry by donating nonperishable food items. The items will be given to the San Diego Food Bank, and can be dropped off in donation bins outside the Stretch Run admission gates. “Most needed” food items include canned soup, canned fruit, canned vegetables, canned meat, cereal, oatmeal and peanut butter.