Victor Espinoza celebrates aboard Elektrum after winning the 2015 John C. Mabee Stakes
The highlight race on Saturday at Del Mar is the $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) for older fillies and mares. Conditions were excellent with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 70's for the 24,723 fans in attendance. A field of 8 contested this 1 1/8 mile contest over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course, with Royal Heroine (G2) winner Fanticola sent off as the 8-5 favorite. In to challenge her included 3-1 second choice Elektrum, off her 4th place finish in the Gamely (G1), and 5-1 third choice Emotional Kitten, second in the Gallorette (G3) before fourth in the Perfect Sting.
Elektrum leads down the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Elektrum Espinoza 8.60 4.40 3.60 7 Queen of the Sand Van Dyke 8.40 4.80 2 Emotional Kitten Stevens 3.80 Winning Time: 1:48.55 $1 Exacta 8-7 30.90 $1 Quinella 7-8 42.60 $1 Trifecta 8-7-2 183.70 $1 Superfecta 8-7-2-3 425.90Results Chart
Left: Elektrum in the winner's circle. Winning trainer John Sadler said, "If you looked at her last race she was probably best. And the filly that beat her went right to Saratoga and won a stakes for Christophe Clement. So the form was real solid and that's why she got bet down a bit. After the last race Victor rode the winner for Clement, but he told his agent ‘Let's ride John's filly next time.' So he kind of hustled me for the mount and I decided to go ahead and put him on. She'll go up to Santa Anita in 1 1/4 mile Rodeo Drive. We think more distance is right in her wheelhouse. She had to make a little earlier run today than I thought, but she ran really well."
Right: Elektrum in the paddock. Winning jockey Victor Espinoza said, "I had to work hard at the end. But it was worth it! She ran good. But they caught me by surprise. They all came at me at once. But she's a fighter. She was strong at the end. We got it done."
Left: Second place finisher Queen of the Sand returns after the race. Jockey Drayden Van Dyke said, "You've got to ride her; right from the start. If you don't stay after her, she'll drop 20 lengths out of it. I got in position at the 3/8 so Fanticola didn't get too far away, then I made my move. Got bumped some by Emotional Kitten, but my mare ran a helluva race. She's really game."
Right: Third place finisher Emotional Kitten in the post parade. Jockey Gary Stevens said, "It was a great race; classic turf finish. I've got no excuses. My mare ran hard. She ran her race."
Fourth place finisher and beaten favorite Fanticola in the paddock before the race. Jockey Joe Talamo said, "We saved every inch and she ran all the way. She ran a good one."
Nyquist wins the Best Pal Stakes
Left: Nyquist in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Doug O'Neill said, "I think it's safe to say he stays No. 1 of our 2-year-olds. Physically and mentally he's the best. But you never know, things can change so quickly, good and bad, for 2-year-olds. If he stays injury free he's got the mind of a champ. It didn't really go as we thought, the pace was slower than we expected early. But Mario got him settled down behind a slow pace and he finished strong and showed the quality that he is."
Right: Nyquist in the post parade. Winning jockey Mario Gutierrez said, "Good trip today and he handled himself well. I don't know if this is the best 2-year-old I've been on this year, but he's surely my favorite. I was on him right from the start; I worked him his first quarter mile. And to see how he's grown! He was so green with no idea what he was doing when we first started. Now he's like a professional. He does it right. Horses like this are special; just so much fun to be part of."
Left: Second place finisher Swipe in the post parade. Jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "I gave up that front position and that might have made a difference. We only had a moderate pace to run at today. But there's no doubt: he's a nice horse."
Right: Third place finisher Annie's Candy in the paddock before the race. Jockey Tyler Baze said, "He just got tired."
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