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Jockey Joe Talamo returns aboard Three Hearts after winning the Red Carpet Handicap.
The $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap (G3), formerly run as the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park, was the feature race on the third Saturday of the inaugural Bing Crosby Meet at Del Mar. A field of eleven older fillies and mares contested this 1 3/8 mile trip around 3 turns of the Jimmy Durante turf course, under sunny skies and temperatures in the high 60's with 18,083 fans in attendance. Appealing Cat was sent off as the 5-2 favorite off a close third place finish in the Dowager at Keeneland after winning the Mrs. Penny Stakes at Parx. In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Lady Pimpernel, making her U.S. debut after winning the Upavon Fillies Stakes at Salisbury, and 4-1 third choice Winning Rhythm, an allowance winner at Santa Anita last out.
Three Hearts leads down the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 8 Three Hearts Talamo 61.40 25.00 11.60 10 Lady of Gold Desormeaux 13.60 8.40 9 Lady Pimpernel Espinoza 4.80 Winning Time: 2:15.54 $1 Exacta 8-10 332.50 $2 Quinella 8-10 249.20 $1 Trifecta 8-10-9 2,056.60 $1 Superfecta 8-10-9-11 9,556.70
Left: Three Hearts in the winner's circle. Winning trainer Neil Drysdale said, "I think I've only had this filly since late September. Team Valor has decided to send some horses out to the West Coast again. We took the blinkers off and it was a really lovely ride, well-positioned. I talked to (owner) Barry Irwin and thought that she could go a bit longer distances. This was 1 3/8 miles. I think she'll go 1 1/2."
Right: Three Hearts heads into the paddock with trainer Neil Drysdale following behind and to the right. Jockey Joe Talamo said, "Neil just said "Don't mess it up.' No, I'm kidding. All he said was to just ride her. My trip couldn't have been more perfect. She broke good from the outside and I was able to get her over and save ground. She's such a classy filly to ride; she relaxed so nicely. When I asked her she fired and we still had a lot left in the tank."
Left: Second place finisher Lady of Gold in the paddock before the race. Jockey Kent Desormeaux said, "The winner had an easy-peasy trip and I had some troubles. At the 3/8 I got bumped and she stumbled. She was going so good to that point. It took her off her game and I think it made the difference."
Right: Third place finisher Lady Pimpernel returns after the race. Jockey Victor Espinoza said, "I ran into someone on the turn; I don't even know who it was. She's a big filly and I had to stop her, then it's hard to get them back running again. She closed, but the trouble hurt us."
Sixth place finisher and beaten favorite Appealing Cat in the post parade. The 5-2 favorite raced 7th early under jockey Rafael Bejarano about 4 lengths off the pace but could not rally and finished 6th beaten 4 3/4 lengths. The Graham Motion trainee has a record of 5 wins, 3 seconds, and 4 thirds in 20 starts, earning $266,453 for owner-breeder George Strawbridge Jr. (Augustin Stable).
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