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2016 Yellow Ribbon Handicap

Drayden Van Dyke and She's Not Here return after winning the 2016 Yellow Ribbon Handicap
Date: 07/16/2016

The feature race on the Saturday of opening week at Del Mar's summer meeting is $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles over the Jimmy Durante turf course. Conditions were excellent at the seaside oval with 15,526 fans enjoying clear skies and temperatures in the high 60's. Royal Heroine (G2) winner Nancy From Nairobi was sent off as the 2-1 favorite in the field of 8 off her 6th place finish in the Gamely (G1). In to challenge her included 7-2 second choice Finest City, third in the Vanity Mile (G1), and 5-1 third choice Her Emmynency, fitfh in both the Santa Ana (G2) and Royal Heroine.

She's Not Here leads on the outside down the stretch

Jockey Tyler Baze sent Her Emmynency to the lead exiting the chute and she set fractions of 24.21, 48.74, and 1L12.32 while pressed by 8-1 Keri Belle and stalked by 9-1 She's Not Here. Entering the stretch, Her Emmynency tired and faded to last allowing She's Not Here to inherit the front through 1 mile in 1:36.46. 18-1 Fresh Feline, 7th early, came out for the drive and put in a strong rally but She's Not Here held her off to win by a neck in 1:42.70 over the firm course. It was another 1/2 length back to late-running favorite Nancy From Nairobi third.

Pgm  Horse               Jockey        Win  Place  Show
 8   She's Not Here      Van Dyke    20.40  10.20  6.60
 1   Fresh Feline        Espinoza           19.40  6.60
 2   Nancy From Nairobi  Smith                     3.20
Winning Time:  1:42.70

$1 Exacta 8-1               161.90
$2 Quinella 1-8             201.20
$0.50 Trifecta 8-1-2        294.35
$1 Superfecta 8-1-2-6     2,451.00
Results Chart

Left: She's Not Here in the winner's circle. She also won this race last year. Winning trainer Vicki Oliver said, "I thought Drayden had her in good position down the back stretch, and when he asked her, she really responded. She runs well on that turf course. I don't know exactly why, maybe she just likes it because it's a little more firm than most. We'll bring her back to Kentucky, there's not another race for her out there. But we're sending some other horses out to run at the meeting."

Right: She's Not Here in the paddock. Winning jockey Drayden Van Dyke said, "I spoke to Phil (husband of She's Not Here's trainer Vicki) Oliver on the phone about an hour before the race. He told me to get her out of there and see if I could lay fourth or fifth – then get her to relax. He said she had been training great, had a good kick and liked the track. So I rode to orders and it all worked out great. This place (Del Mar) is one of my favorite racetracks, so to win a graded race here is special."

Left: Second place finisher Fresh Feline in the post parade. Jockey Victor Espinoza said, "Good race for her. She hadn't run in a while (3rd in the Santa Ana (G2) on March 26), so you know she needed it. Still, a couple more jumps and we would have gotten the winner."

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Nancy From Nairobi in the paddock before the race. Jockey Mike Smith said, "She stumbled coming out of there; almost went to her nose. It cost her everything. If I come out of there the right way, I would have been laying third. Instead, I've got to come all the way from the back. It would have been totally different."

Toowindytohaulrox (outside) wins the Wickerr Stakes

The first stakes race on Yellow Ribbon Handicap day was the $75,000 Wickerr Stakes with a field of just 5 older horses (after 3 scratches) going 1 mile on the turf. 3-1 second choice Little Curlin and 9-1 longest shot Forever Juanito dueled most of the way around through fractions of 24.909, 48.42, and 1:12.54. Entering the stretch Forever Juanito gained the lead through 7f in 1:24.29, but 11-10 favorite Toowindytohaulrox, 4th early, came out 3 wide to get up by a nack for the win in 1:36.09 over the firm going. It was just a nose back from Forever Juanito to Little Curlin third.

Results Chart

Toowindytohaulrox, a Phil D'Amato-trained son of Harlan's Holiday, paid $4.20 to win after scoring his fifth victory in 21 starts. First money of $46,740 increased the five-year-old's earnings to $372,932 for owner Queen Bee Racing.

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