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Jockey Gary Stevens celebrates aboard Defiantly after winning the Let It Ride Stakes.
The feature race on the first Saturday of the 2016 Bing Crosby fall meeting at Del Mar was the $75,000 Let It Ride Stakes, a 1 mile Jimmy Durante Turf test for 3-year-olds, restricted to non-winners of $50,000 stakes races other than state-bred. Conditions were excellent at the historic seaside oval, with clear skies and temperatures in the high 60's. Curlin Rules was sent off as the 8-5 favorite in the field of 6, second in an allowance last out at Santa Anita after finishing 5th in the Affirmed (G3) at Santa Anita in July and winning an allowance at Del Mar in August. In to challenge him included 2-1 second choice Mittersill, third and second in allowance company since breaking his maiden at Cork, Ireland in May, and 4-1 Little Scotty, third in an allowance at Santa Anita after finishing 9th in the Dueling Grounds Derby at Kentucky Downs.
Defiantly takes the lead on the outside in the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 4 Defiantly Stevens 29.60 10.80 4.80 6 Mittersill Prat 3.80 3.00 1 Camino Del Paraiso Gonzalez 4.20 Winning Time: 1:34.80 $1 Exacta 4-6 49.30 $0.50 Trifecta 4-6-1 172.80 $1 Superfecta 4-6-1-3 737.70
Left: Defiantly in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Craig Dollase said, "He likes this course, he broke his maiden here this summer and we wanted to run against 3-year-olds. Gary was very patient with him, he accelerated at the right time and got the money. It kind of went the way we expected. Gary let them break and let him settle and get into stride. He came rolling late and was obviously the best today."
Right: Defiantly in the paddock. Winning jockey Gary Stevens said, "Beforehand, he was acting just like his name. He was a handful. I tried to get him to cool out, but he wasn't having it. I actually breezed him 1/2 mile in the warm up to settle him down a bit. The plan was to go for the lead, but after all that it was out of the question. But he broke well for me and relaxed. I asked him for a run at the 3/16 and I wasn't sure what I was going to get. But he had a nice turn of foot and ran on well. He sort of acts like a 2-year-old, but with some maturity and some racing he's eligible to move forward." This is Stevens' 94th stakes win at Del Mar, tying him with Bill Shoemaker for 6th place all time.
Left: Second place finisher Mittersill in the paddock before the race. Jockey Flavien Prat said, "He ran good; too good to get beat."
Right: Third place finisher Camino Del Paraiso in the post parade. Jockey Ricardo Gonzalez said, "If I could have got him running earlier, we might have had something. He gave me a good late run."
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Curlin Rules in the paddock before the race. The 8-5 favorite set the pace saving ground under new jockey Tyler Baze, but tired in the stretch to finisgh 4th beaten 2 lengths. The John Sadler trainee has a record of 2 wins, 1 second, and 2 thirds in 9 starts, earning $104,759 for owner Hronis Racing LLC.