Hector Berrios aboard Blue Stripe after winning the 2022 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes
The highlight race at Del Mar on Saturday was the $400,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles on the main track, looking for automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Distaff under the Challenge Series program. Conditions were excellent in San Diego County with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70s for the 11,481 fans in attendance. After Lisette and Samurai Charm scratched, just 5 went to post with Shedaresthedevil sent off as the 4-5 favorite off her win in the Fleur de Lis (G2) after just missing in the La Troienne (G1) at Churchill Downs. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Private Mission, winner of the Santa Maria (G2) after finishing second in the Las Flores (G3) at Santa Anita, and 5-1 third choice Blue Stripe, second in the Santa Maria after winning the Santa Margarita (G2).
Blue Stripe leads down the stretch in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes
Jockey Juan Hernandez sent Private Mission to the lead first time by and she set fractions of 23.18 and 46.82 while pressed by Shedaresthedevil and stalked by Blue Stripe. On the far turn jockey Florent Geroux sent Shedaresthedevil to lead through 3/4 in 1:11.42. Into the lane, Blue Stripe came out 3 wide and took over the lead through 1 mile in 1:36.59. Kept to task by Hector Berrios, Blue Stripe drew off to win by 1 3/4 lengths over late-running 6-1 Desert Dawn in 1:42.97. It was a head back to favorite Shedaresthedevil third.
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 7 Blue Stripe Berrios 12.60 6.00 2.60 3 Desert Dawn Rispoli 6.20 2.40 5 Shedaresthedevil Geroux 2.10 Winning Time: 1:42.97 $1 Exacta 7-3 29.80 $1 Trifecta 7-3-5 57.60 $1 Superfecta 7-3-5-1 159.50Results Chart
Left: Blue Stripe heads back to the barn. Winning trainer Marcelo Polanco said, "We talked about where she’s going to be because they scratched two horses and we had to change a little bit. We had her a little closer than we had before. Lucky everything worked. You know where we’re going... Keeneland."
Right: Blue Stripe in the paddock. Winning jockey Hector Berrios said, "The race went exactly as we planned it. We wanted to sit behind the speed horses, then go get them late. She was running all the way. She was running well. Went we went past the half-mile (pole), we picked it up. She ran really well. She can run farther, too. I think she wants to run farther."
Left: Second place finisher Desert Dawn in the paddock before the race. The Phil D'Amato trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 1 second, and 4 thirds in 10 starts, earning $596,150 for owner-breeder H & E Ranch.
Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Shedaresthedevil in the post parade. The Brad Cox trainee improved her record to 10 wins, 3 seconds, and 6 thirds, earning $2,777,458 for owners Flurry Racing Stables, Qatar Racing Limited, and Whisper Hill Farm.
Winning trainer Dean Pederson said, "Until they put the numbers up, I was hoping for the best. Horse has been very honest and very consistent. We’ve spotted him well; it’s a pleasure to win these kind of races."
Winning jockey Juan Hernandez said, "He’s the kind of horse you can do whatever you want with him. I know this horse, I trust him a lot. I knew I had the horse and I was just waiting for some room to come through. They opened, then we come through and we win the race. He’s a real professional horse."
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