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2015 El Cajon Stakes

Martin Garcia aboard Gimme Da Lute after winning the 2015 El Cajon Stakes
Date: 08/29/2015

The feature race on Saturday at Del Mar was the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds going 1 mile on the main track. Conditions were excellent at the seaside oval for the 24,031 fans in attendance, with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. After 3 scratches, a compact field of just 4 went to post, with Gimme Da Lute sent off as the 1-5 favorite off a 3 race win streak including the Affirmed (G2), Los Alamitos Derby (G2), and the Real Good Deal Stakes. In to challenge him were 4-1 second choice Fame and Power, winner of the Sir Barton at Pimlico before finishing 2nd in the Matt Winn (G3) at Churchill, 5-1 third choice Desert Dymamo, 5th in an allowance last out, and 15-1 longest shot Thanksgiving Day, off a 9th in allowance company.

Gimme Da Lute takes the lead in the stretch

Jockey Rafael Bejarano sent Fame and Power to the lead and he set brisk fractions of 22.48, 45.62, and 1:10.27 while pressed by favorite and stablemate Gimme Da Lute and stalked by Desert Dynamo. At the top of the lane, Martin Garcia sent Gimme Da Lute to challenge through 7/8 in 1:22.72. The pair dueled to the line with Gimme Da Lute prevailing by 1/2 a length in 1:35.79 over the fast track. It was a neck back to Desert Dynamo third, and a long 22 1/4 lengths back to Thanksgiving Day who trailed the whole way in fourth. Jockey Flavien Prat aboard Desert Dynamo claimed foul against Martin Garcia for interference in the lane but this was disallowed.

Pgm  Horse              Jockey        Win  Place  Show
 6   Gimme Da Lute    Garcia         2.40   2.10      
 1   Fame and Power   Bejarano              2.60      
 3   Desert Dynamo    Prat                            

Winning Time:  1:35.79

$1 Exacta 6-1                 2.30
$2 Quinella 1-6               4.00
$1 Trifecta 6-1-3             3.70
$1 Superfecta 6-1-3-5         3.90
Results Chart

Left: Gimme Da Lute in the winner's circle. Winning jockey Martin Garcia said, "When you've only got three or four horses in a race, it's harder to figure out what's going to happen. They all wanted to go for the lead in that first turn, so I let them go. Then we went to work. I know that rider (Flavien Prat on Desert Dynamo) claimed foul, but he was always behind me and never going to get past. My horse is a fighter. He did that today." This is Garcia's third stakes win of the 2015 Del Mar meeting.

Right: Gimme Da Lute in the post parade. Mike Marlow, assistant to Bob Baffert (who trains the first 2 finishers) said, "It was kind of a funny run race. It was good early, then it looked like Martin might have made a bit of a premature move. But watching the replay, he had more room than it looked like from the stands when he went through (between horses) there. He ran a game race, he ran tough. He had every reason to get beat and he didn't." Baffert has 3 stakes win this meeting and has won the El Cajon 7 times. He leads all trainers with 111 stakes wins at Del Mar.

Left: Second place finisher Fame and Power in the paddock before the race. Jockey Rafael Bejarano said, "He ran good today."

Right: Third place finisher Desert Dynamo in the paddock before the race. Jockey Flavien Prat said, "The winner caused me to change course. That's why I claimed foul. But my horse ran well."

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