The 5-year-old daughter of Discreet Cat
had a 1 1/2-length lead entering the stretch and clung on to her advantage to the finish line, as three opponents desperately closed in, but none could match strides with the winner.
Discreet Marq finished three-quarters of length in front of Photo Call
, who in a near-blanket finish for second, bested Recepta
by a half length, while J Wonder
was a nose back in fourth in field of seven older fillies and mares.
"I had a perfect trip," winning jockey John Velasquez said. "She broke well and we weren't expecting much speed, so she ended up on the lead. I wanted to make sure to let her run from the gate since there wasn't any speed on paper."
Breaking from the far outside post, 6-5 favorite Discreet Marq was swiftly angled over to take charge and ticked off slow fractions of :26.13 and :50.85, as Radiator
, J Wonder, and Recepta stalked through the opening half-mile. She picked up the pace on the far turn and had an energetic response when roused at the furlong maker to secure the win.
"Nobody went, so we went (a half-mile) in :50 and change all by herself. After that, I just let her do what she wanted to do," Velasquez said. "She had plenty left in the stretch."
Discreet Marq completed the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.15 on a firm inner turf course.
Purchased by Moyglare Stud for $2.4 million last November at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November sale, the gray mare trained by Christophe Clement has an 8-5-4 record from 21 career starts that includes her win in the 2013 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT). Purchased with the intent keep her in training, Discreet Marq finished 2014 with a third-place finish in the Matriarch (gr. IT) for her new connections Nov. 30 at Del Mar
"It's nice when they come back," Clement said of Discreet Marq, who came in off a more than five-month layoff. "That's what good horses do—they win. Great trip, great ride. She's a good filly... I'm delighted, because Moyglare stepped up to buy her in the November sale and she came back to win a (graded) race right away for them, so that's wonderful. This is a good start. Moyglare has been supporting the barn for many years, so it's nice to do well for them."
Discreet Marq, who was bred in New York by Patricia Generazio, was produced by the stakes-winning Marquetry
mare To Marquet
. She is a half sister to stakes winner Marquet Madness
and stakes-placed Marquet Cat