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Jockey Silvestre de Sousa returns aboard Rusty Slipper after winning the Red Carpet Handicap.
The feature race on Saturday at Del Mar was the $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap (G3), a 1 3/8 mile trip around three turns of the Jimmy Durante Turf Course for older fillies and mares. The race had been run as the Beverly Hills Handicap at the now-demolished Hollywood Park. Conditions were excellent at the seaside oval with sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80's. As expected, John C. Mabee (G2) winner Elektrum was sent off as the 5-2 favorite off her 4th place finish in the Goldikova (G2) after finishing second in the Rodeo Drive (G1). In to challenge her included 9-2 second choice and defending champion Three Hearts, fourth in the Kathryn Crosby two weeks ago, and 11-2 third choice Trophee, fourth in the Dowager (G3) at Keeneland.
Rusty Slipper leads down the stretch
Pgm Horse Jockey Win Place Show 11 Rusty Slipper de Sousa 14.20 6.00 4.60 9 Elektrum Espinoza 4.40 3.00 2 Three Hearts Talamo 4.20 Winning Time: 2:15.34 $1 Exacta 11-9 27.70 $2 Quinella 9-11 22.40 $1 Trifecta 11-9-2 140.70 $1 Superfecta 11-9-2-5 679.90
Left: Rusty Slipper in the winner's circle. Alice Clapham, assistant to winning trainer Graham Motion said, "She broke well out of the gate, settled well and was given an excellent ride. Recently we had been thinking about bringing her out here for the Matriarch (one mile, turf), but we liked the distance of this race and she likes firm ground. You're more likely to get firm turf out here than you are back east at this time of year."
Right: Rusty Slipper in the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Silvestre De Sousa said, "I had a great trip around there. I'd spoken to the trainer (H. Graham Motion) and he was very confident. He said he thought he had the best horse in the race. He told me to come away from there and get a good spot. I was concerned about the post (far outside), but she came away well and we got a good spot. Then she went on from there." De Sousa, England's champion jockey this year, is riding in New York for the winter. He added, "I'm flying back to New York tonight but hope to be here for a race next weekend (during the Thanksgiving turf festival)."
Left: Beaten favorite and second place finisher Elektrum in the paddock before the race. Jockey Victor Espinoza said, "She (the winner) really got me right out of the gate. At the three-eighths pole, (De Sousa) dropped over on me big time and I nearly clipped heels. It cost me the race. She should have come down."
Right: Third place finisher Three Hearts in the post parade. Jockey Joe Talamo said, "He (trainer Neil Drysdale) said to go for it. To put her in front. The fractions were easy; we were going good. She just got outquickened at the end."
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