After Market, the 3-5 favorite ridden by Alex Solis, enhanced his reputation as one of America’s outstanding horses on grass Sunday with a sparkling victory in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) (VIDEO) at Del Mar.
The colt has back-to-back grade I wins in Southern California following his impressive victory Sunday.
Staked to a stalking position in third place in the early stages of the nine-furlong race over the turf course, After Market pounced on the pacesetters Out of Control and Rob Roy, taking command mid-stretch and drawing out impressively to win by 1 1/2 lengths.
"He just has a big kick and Alex can ask for it when he needs it," said winning trainer John Shirreffs, who registered his first victory in the Eddie Read. "He's just a big, lazy colt and when you ask him to run, he takes off. That's lazy in a good way. He always likes something to run at. It keeps him in the game."
Out of Control, the second choice in the betting at 2-1, held on well to be second, 3 3/4 lengths in front of Rob Roy, with Fast and Furious fourth and Atlando fifth and last in the small field. Valiant Effort, an entrymate of the winner, was withdrawn.
Pam and Martin Wygod’s After Market, a royally-bred 4-year-old son of Storm Cat and the Wygods’ stakes star Tranquility Lake (by Rahy), accomplished the distance in 1:47.36 and returned $3.40, $2.20, and $2.10. Out of Control, ridden by Michael Baze, paid $3.20 and $2.40. Rob Roy, David Flores aboard, was $2.60 to show.
The winner carried high weight of 120 pounds, five more than the runner-up and three more than Rob Roy, a group II winner in England last year.
Rob Roy set the fractions for the first half-mile -- :25 and :48 4/5 -- before Out of Control took over after six furlongs in 1:12 2/5. Out of Control led by two lengths in the stretch.
"He broke well, and I was just playing it by ear," Solis said of After Market. "The pace wasn't that fast, but I was sitting right behind in a good spot. Michael (Baze, on Out of Control) made a good move cutting the corner turning for home and got a good jump on us. But my horse is special. He'll do what you ask of him. I knew we were going to run him down. You can have that kind of confidence when you sit on a horse like this."
"I knew (After Market) would be coming, so I tried to make a quick move and get away from him," Baze said. "My horse has the speed, but the favorite is a finisher. I asked mine, and he was finishing great. But the other horse just finished better."
After Market earned $240,000 with his third consecutive stakes success and seventh in 11 starts overall. His earnings now total $703,685. On Hollywood Park's turf course this year, he won the Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) and then upset Lava Man in the Charlie Whittingham Handicap (gr. IT).