Garrett Gomez, Eclipse Award-winning jockey of 2007 who would cap a superb weekend with a victory in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) in the next race, guided the 4-year-old Irish-bred colt by Royal Applause to victory over Bold Chieftain. The latter finished a game second by a neck over 29-1 shot Global Hunter.
Daytona, who prompted a swift pace with Storm Military (:22.51, :46.06, 1:09.1), finished fourth, while Monzante launched a belated bid to take fifth in the field of nine.
Whatsthescript earns a spot in the Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT), since this race was a "Win and You're In" qualifying event for the Oct. 25 championship festival at Santa Anita. However, the winner is not eligible and thus would have to be supplemented.
"I wanted to wait as long as I could, but the horses behind me were making their moves and I had to go," Gomez said." When I first asked him, he took a stride or two to pick it up. But then he got to going and changing his gears and he really went. This horse has a kick, I'll tell you. A real kick."
John Sadler, picking up his seventh stakes win at the Del Mar stand, trains Whatsthescript for Tommy Town Thoroughbreds.
"This is really a great horse," said Sadler, who is also the meet's leading trainer. "He's one of the true horses that I've ever had that I think is a grade I horse. What made us so happy was that fast pace in front of him. When they went :22 and :46 (for the opening half-mile), I knew we were in good shape."
The winner ran the distance over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course in a fast 1:32.40, just .19 off the course record, and returned $6, $3.40, and $2.80. Bold Chieftain, ridden by Russell Baze for trainer Bill Morey Jr., returned $6.40 and $4.60, while Global Hunter paid $8 to show.
"Through the lane my horse was digging in hard and I was getting into him hard, asking him for all he was worth," Baze said of the runner-up. "He gave me everything he had."
Jockey Jose Valdivia Jr., who rode Global Hunter, claimed foul after the race against the first two horses. However, the stewards quickly disallowed the claim after viewing a videotape of the stretch run.
Whatsthescript, runner-up to Monzante in the nine-furlong Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) July 20, earned his sixth victory in a dozen starts. First money of $180,000 increased the horse's earnings to $597,734. Whatsthescript won the American Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood Park two starts back.
Sadler won the Del Mar Mile last year with Crossing the Line.
Stoneside, Porto Santo, Storm Military, and One Union completed the order of finish.