Favored Untouched Talent inched away from the pack leaving the turn and rolled to a three-length victory in the $150,000 Sorrento (gr. III) for 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar Saturday.
Jockey Victor Espinoza used a light touch down the lane as the well-bred bay filly by Storm Cat
--Parade Queen (A.P. Indy
) opened up a commanding lead at odds of 3-2.
Outofthepast, also sent off at 3-2 in the field of seven, rallied along the inside to finish second under Isaias Enriquez, three lengths clear of Smart n'Quiet in the strung out finish. The final time for the 6 1/2-furlong event, the major local springboard to the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Sept. 4, was 1:18 1/5.
A $500,000 Barretts sale in March, Untouched Talent is unbeaten in two starts for owners John Sikura, Tommy Town Thoroughbreds, James Vreeland, and the Ferro Family Trust. Trained by Northern California conditioner Jeff Bonde, she won the Juan Gonzalez Memorial over four rivals at Pleasanton in her debut July 1 and now has earnings of $113,550.
"She's a talented horse," said Bonde, who won his first graded stakes at Del Mar. "No doubt about it. When you give $500,000 when you're from San Francisco, she better be or you're in trouble."
Bonde said he hopes the Del Mar Debutante is the next stop for Untouched Talent.
"She's not a big horse, not totally correct, but she's a great mover and covers the ground effortlessly - and that's what it takes to make a horse good," Bonde said.
Breaking from the rail, Untouched Talent stalked in fourth early as Smart n'Quiet led the opening quarter-mile in :22 3/5. She made a bid for the lead along the inside approaching the turn and soon put her head in front after a half-mile in :45 4/5. Smart n'Quiet, ridden by Tyler Baze, tried to stay with her but could not.
"Jeff told me that she'd never been hit, that no one had ever used a whip on her," Espinoza said of the winner. "So he said if I had to, to be careful. But as it turned out, I didn't need the whip at all.
"I knew there was lots of speed in the race, so I didn't rush her out of there. I just lay in behind them. Then I used her a little bit on the turn to hold my position, and she was okay with that. Then turning for home, I wanted to see what I had. I couldn't resist. So I let her out a little bit and – whoa! – she was flying. I took a quick hold and I didn't have to ask her a bit from there. She's special."
Outofthepast, fifth on the turn, angled in during the stretch run and finished willingly to be a clear second.
Shawklit Sundae, racing on the outside throughout, took fourth, followed by Shes Got Skills (who got loose in the post parade after dumping jockey Martin Pedroza), Hello Bolly, and Company Secret.
Untouched Talent paid $5, $2.80 and $2.60.
Outofthepast returned $2.60 and $2.40.
Smart n'Quiet was $4.60 to show.
W.S. Farish and E.J. Hudson Jr. Irrevocable Trust bred the winner in Kentucky.