Recent British import Up In Time swept past pacesetter Mizdirection in deep stretch to produce an 11-1 upset in the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) on the Del Mar turf July 24.
Ridden for the first time by Rafael Bejarano, Up in Time emerged from mid-pack in upper stretch and closed stoutly under left-handed urging to run down 19-10 favorite Mizdirection by 1 1/4 lengths.
Mizdirection, who had opened up a substantial lead in the stretch, had to settle for second. Celestial Kitten rallied along the inside to finish third. The final time for the one-mile test of 3-year-old fillies was a solid 1:34.66 over firm going.
Sarah's Secret, the undefeated winner of last month's Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT), was also sent off at 19-10 odds and finished sixth.
Up In Time, a Great Britain-bred daughter of Noverre out of the Inchinor mare Up At Dawn, is trained by Simon Callaghan for owner Anthony Ramsden. Larry Stratton bred the chestnut filly, who won for the second time in five U.S. starts this year, all coming in Southern California. Up In Time was coming off a fifth-place finish in the nine-furlong Honeymoon June 11, though beaten by only 1 1/4 lengths when outrun late by Sarah's Secret.
"Rafi always had her in a great position," Callaghan told TVG after the San Clemente, which was the trainer's first win at Del Mar. "I was happy throughout. This filly is definitely a miler. That's her optimum distance. This was perfect."
Bejarano had Up In Time, who broke from the rail in the field of 10, settled a bit off the inside while unhurried behind a quick early pace established by Mizdirection. The pacesetter, stretching out under jockey Garrett Gomez after a runner-up finish in the six-furlong Manhattan Beach Stakes June 18 at Hollywood, was pushed along by Brazilian-bred Great Hot with Sarah's Secret racing close in third.
Mizdirection carved an opening quarter mile in :22.61 before slowing things down to :47.09 for the half and 1:11.49 for three-quarters. Sarah's Secret weakened when wide on the final turn and Great Hot also lost ground as Mizdirection took command in upper stretch. But the favorite could not hold off the determined Up In Time, who strode home smartly to prove best.
“Oh, she ran so good," said Bejarano, who also won the California Dreamin' Stakes earlier on the card aboard favored Norvsky He (trainer Simon Callaghan) didn’t give me any instructions. He said: ‘Rafael, you ride her like you know you should.’ I enjoy that. Then I really enjoy it when they run like she did. She broke good, but she was relaxed all the way. Then she had that good kick.”
Up In Time raced three times in England for trainer W.J. Knight, breaking her maiden by seven lengths at Newmarket in her second start last September. Transferred to Southern California for the 2011 campaign, she won a six-furlong allowance turf sprint at Hollywood prior to the Honeymoon in her third U.S. start. She has won three of eight starts overall with earnings of $138,576.
Callaghan said Up In Time took some time to adjust.
“This filly has always had a lot of ability. She’s just improved every day and now she’s completely happy," he said. "I know she was 12-1 on the odds,(actually 11-1), but we’ve always thought this filly is very, very powerful and for the first time she got relaxed today."
She carried 116 pounds, four fewer than the top-weighted Sarah's Secret, and paid $25.40, $9.60, and $6.40. Mizdirection returned $4.20 and $3.60, and rounded out a $105 exacta. Celestial Kitten, a new arrival to the Ben Cecil barn from trainer Chad Brown in New York, paid $5 to show with Joel Rosario aboard.
“I got a little more early pressure than I thought I would. That didn’t help," Gomez said of the favorite's effort. "But when we cut the corner, she came away from them a bit, just not enough. She ran great, though.”
Irish-bred Rosehill Dew was fourth, followed by Great Hot, Sarah's Secret, Bonita Star, Fifth Commandment, Justenufappeal, and Fifth Ave. Carousel, on the also-eligible list, was scratched.