Sunset Glow handled her rivals in the Sorrento Stakes (gr. II) with consummate ease over the Del Mar Polytrack, and she is a standout among the field of untried 2-year-old fillies entered for the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) Aug. 30.
With Victor Espinoza aboard, the solidly-built Sunset Glow got the jump on her four rivals in the 6 1/2-furlong Sorrento Aug. 6 and was never threatened as she cleared off for a 3 1/4-length victory in a time of 1:16.61. That strong front-running effort came after a fine second on the turf at Royal Ascot in the Albany Stakes (Eng-III) six weeks earlier for trainer Wesley Ward and owner Ten Broeck Farm.
None of her rivals in the Sorrento return in the Debutante, and among the other entrants in the seven-furlong Polytrack event only one, Seduire, has raced in stakes company.
All of which adds up to a short price on Sunset Glow, who was supplemented to the Debutante, race 9 on the Saturday card with a 6 p.m. PDT tentative post time. The well-traveled Kentucky-bred daughter of Exchange Rate, a $140,000 Keeneland September yearling buy, has two wins and two seconds in four starts. She graduated in her second try on turf at Belmont Park by two lengths going five furlongs.
She has maintained her sharpness with a bullet five-furlong move in :59 2/5 over the track Aug. 20, fastest of 49 at the distance. Espinoza retains the mount and they break from post 5 with top weight of 122 pounds. This race could still present a challenge, however, as she is one of several fillies who have displayed speed in their brief careers.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, looking for grade I wins on consecutive weekends following the tour de force by Shared Belief in the TVG Pacific Classic Aug. 24, enters two such contestants in Seduire and Manahatta.
Regis Racing's Seduire, who draws the rail with Elvis Trujillo in the irons for the first time, won the Wine Country Debutante at Santa Rosa Aug. 8 in front-running style by 1 1/4 lengths. The Elusive Quality lass faced four opponents in the six-furlong tilt as the 3-10 choice.
She had previously run second in the Landaluce Stakes at Santa Anita Park a month after a debut maiden win there May 22.
Manhatta is one of several sharp last-out maiden winners in the field, winning her debut going 6 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar, also in front-running fashion, by one length Aug. 10. Leading rider Rafael Bejarano is back aboard for the Hollendorfer barn, which has really been heating up in the past two weeks. Gainesway Thoroughbreds and Peachtree Stable own the chestnut daughter of Old Fashioned.
Trainer Bob Baffert is represented by Peachtree Stable's Starlet O'Hara, who came from off the pace nicely to break her maiden by 2 3/4 lengths July 27 while overcoming the rail post. It was the second start for the Discreetly Mine miss. She debuted with a green effort when second after falling 14 lengths off the pace at Los Alamitos Race Course three weeks earlier. Martin Garcia has the call.
There are three first-out maiden winners in the field making their initial starts since—Her Emmynency, Stealth Drone, and Conquest Eclipse.
Her Emmynency, a Successful Appeal filly trained by Mike Stidham for owners Ike and Dawn Thrash, won at first asking by 2 3/4 lengths after atalking the pace at Del Mar Aug. 2.
Stealth Drone was claimed for $80,000 away from Peter Miller out of her debut win, and the Smoke Glacken filly is now trained by Doug O'Neill for a partnership.
Conquest Stables' Conquest Eclipse has had four works over the track since arriving from Churchill Downs following her 1 1/2-length victory as the favorite June 29 for trainer Mark Casse. Her most recent drill Aug. 20, at five furlongs from the gate, was clocked in 1:00 2/5, handily.
Maidens Windy Forecast, second to Manhatta after battling on the lead in her only start when favored Aug. 10, and Dad's Princess, third in the same race in her only start, complete the field.
Del Mar, Saturday, August 30, 2014, Race 9
PP Horse Jockey Wgt Trainer M/L 1 1Seduire (ON) Elvis Trujillo 120 Jerry Hollendorfer - 2 2Manahatta (KY) Rafael Bejarano 118 Jerry Hollendorfer - 3 3Starlet O'Hara (KY) Martin Garcia 118 Bob Baffert - 4 4Dad's Princess (KY) Mike E. Smith 116 James M. Cassidy - 5 5Sunset Glow (KY) Victor Espinoza 122 Wesley A. Ward - 6 6Her Emmynency (KY) Joseph Talamo 118 Michael Stidham - 7 7Stealth Drone (KY) Tyler Baze 116 Doug F. O'Neill - 8 8Conquest Eclipse (KY) Corey S. Nakatani 118 Mark E. Casse - 9 9Windy Forecast (KY) Kent J. Desormeaux 116 Simon Callaghan -
Del Mar, Saturday, August 30, 2014, Race 9