Elektrum finishes strong to take the John C. Mabee Stakes.

Elektrum finishes strong to take the John C. Mabee Stakes.

Benoit Photo

Elektrum Makes Grade in Mabee

First graded win was tightly contested, with four horses within a length at wire.

Hronis Racing's Elektrum outfinished three rivals late to earn her first graded stakes in the $250,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (gr. IIT) Aug. 8 at Del Mar.

Video: John C. Mabee S. (G2T)

With less than a length separating the top four finishers, jockey Victor Espinoza and the 4-year-old High Chaparral filly hit the wire first between horses to claim her first graded stakes, just a head in front of runner-up Queen of The Sand. Emotional Kitten finished third, a neck back, and pacesetter Fanticola came in fourth.

"I had to work hard at the end, but it was worth it," Espinoza said. "She ran good, but they caught me by surprise. They all came at me at once, but she's a fighter. She was strong at the end. We got it done."

Fanticola, coming off a neck victory in the Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Park June 27, jumped out to an easy lead as the 8-5 favorite in the 1 1/8-mile event and set fractions of :24.04, :48.03, and 1:12.21 through six furlongs. But the field bunched in the final turn, with the top three finishers making a simultaneous run to the outside of the leader.

"We saved every inch and she ran all the way," Fanticola's jockey, Joe Talamo, said. "She ran a good one."

In the three path exiting the turn, the John Sadler-trained Elektrum found just enough in the final strides to hit the wire first in 1:48.55 on a turf course rated firm. She paid $8.60, $4.40, and $3.60 across the board. Queen of The Sand brought $8.40 and $4.80, and Emotional Kitten delivered $3.80 to show.

Personal Diary finished fifth, followed by Notte d'Oro, Blingismything, and Stormy Lucy to complete the order of finish. All seven trailing runners were within 2 1/4 lengths of the winner.

Bred in Ireland by Sweet Caroline Partnership, Elektrum is out of the Inchinor mare Carolines Secret. She now has a 4-4-2 record and $299,438 in earnings from 15 starts, including two wins in France before relocating to the U.S.