The Sept. 1 Polytrack fixture is contested at seven furlongs. Six of the competitors are facing winners for the first time and of the remainder, all but one last ran in the six-furlong Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) over the surface Aug. 6.
Evita Argentina, part of a strong tandem entered by John Sadler, the meet's runaway leading trainer heading into the final weekend, won the Sorrento in an upset at odds of 7-1. But she could go favored here after her splashy finish. Fifth after a half-mile, the Candy Ride filly rallied five wide coming off the turn to mow down her rivals in deep stretch to win by one length.
Owned by Halo Farms, also her breeder, and Three Sisters Thoroughbreds, the chestnut filly is unbeaten in two starts, winning at first asking June 25 at Hollywood Park when she came from off the pace at odds of 19-1. Alex Solis will ride, replacing Tyler Baze, and they will break from post 3. Baze has the mount on Empressive Lady, an Empire Maker filly who was a sharp maiden winner last time out.
Evita Argentina worked with her Sadler stablemate, Emmy Darling, on Aug. 25, turning in a bullet move of 1:11 for six furlongs. That was a tick better than Emmy Darling, who ran fourth in the Sorrento but was moved up to third when the original show horse, Glitter City, was dropped a peg for drifting in during the stretch drive. Emmy Darling, the second choice in the Sorrento, was forced to steady in the final sixteenth as a result.
Emmy Darling, who won the Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood for owners Ike and Dawn Thrash by two lengths June 28, will be making her fourth start. The $260,000 March Ocala Breeders' Sale purchase is by Graeme Hall--Dance Delight, by Colonial Affair. David Flores rides from the 11 post.
The maiden Stardom Bound was the 9-5 favorite in the Sorrento. She made a strong late bid to finish second to Evita Argentina after a slow start for jockey MIke Smith, who rides once again for trainer Christopher Paasch and owner C.R. Cono. A gray filly by Tapit , Stardom Bound was nosed in her debut July 20 at Del Mar by Turtle Creek Babe, who also returns in this spot for Ron McAnally.
Turtle Creek Babe, a daughter of Grand Slam, showed quite a bit of gameness in her maiden win, closing from far back between rivals to get up in a three-horse finish that included Montana Fields. The latter, a Virginia bred Pulpit miss trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, returned to break her maiden by 2 3/4 lengths at 11-10 odds Aug. 3 with meet-leading rider Rafael Bejarano aboard.
Glitter City has had a couple of strong stakes efforts since breaking her maiden at Hollywood Park for trainer Jeff Mullins. She finished second in the Landaluce prior to the Sorrento, in which she led in the home stretch before being overtaken by Evita Argentina and Stardom Bound.
Mullins starts two others: Michael House's Empressive Lady, an eye-catching 5 1/2-length winner in her second start versus maidens July 27, and Robert and Lawana Low's Candilejas, another daughter of Candy Ride who graduated with a 2 1/4-length triumph Aug. 10 going 6 1/2 furlongs.
Trifecta King tries to bounce back from a rough trip in the Sorrento, where she finished last of 10. An easy 3 3/4-length winner of the Cinderella for Doug O'Neill at Hollywood Park in May, the Peace Rules filly was forced to steady hard along the rail five-sixteenths of a mile into the Sorrento and was unable to recover.
After breaking her maiden with a late surge at Colonial Downs June 20, Augustin Stable's California-bred Saucey Evening returned with a second-place finish in the CTBA Stakes for state-breds at Del Mar one month later. H. Graham Motion trains the More Than Ready filly, who is out of the General Meeting mare Jeweled Lady.
Saucey Evening is one of three supplemented to the Del Mar Debutante. Will O Way is a half-sister to the multiple graded winner Will O Wisp who won her debut over maidens at Calder Race Course July 27. She was recently transferred to the barn of Vladimir Cerin. Palacio de Amor, owned and trained by Myung Kwon Cho, broke her maiden impressively at Del Mar Aug. 16.
$250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I, Race 9, 6 p.m.), 2-year-old fillies, 7 furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Palacio de Amor (KY), 117, Victor Espinoza
2. Will O Way (KY), 117, Joel Rosario
3. Evita Argentina (KY), 121, Alex O. Solis
4. Stardom Bound (KY), 115, Mike E. Smith
5. Saucey Evening (CA), 117, Garrett K. Gomez
6. Candilejas (KY), 117, Martin Garcia
7. Trifecta King (KY), 119, Alonso Quinonez
8. Glitter City (FL), 117, Michael C. Baze
9. Montana Fields (VA), 117, Rafael Bejarano
10. Turtle Creek Babe (KY), 117, Joseph Talamo
11. Emmy Darling (FL), 121, David R. Flores
12. Empressive Lady (KY), 117, Tyler Baze