Martin Garcia aboard Gimme Da Lute after winning the 2015 El Cajon Stakes
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
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 3.90Results 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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