Mi Sueno, who left odds-on choice Necessary Evil far behind when she captured the Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) one month ago, headlines a field of 10 2-year-old fillies in the $300,000 Darley Debutante (gr. I) at Del Mar Sept. 5.
Trained by Eric Guillot, the Southern Equine Stable-owned filly scored by 6 1/2 lengths at odds of 8-1 in the Aug. 7 Sorrento, which like the Debutante, is contested on Polytrack. After her eye-catching triumph, she won't be that sort of price this time around. Still, Necessary Evil can be expected to turn in a much better effort for their return engagement at seven furlongs.
Necessary Evil, who defeated males handily in the Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) July 12, broke inwardly and bobbled in the Sorrento. Accustomed to racing on the front end, the Doug O'Neill-trained daughter of Harlan's Holiday instead was chasing the pace from the rear of the pack. She didn't quit, though, rallying in the stretch to gain second as the 4-5 favorite.
It was the first defeat in three starts for Necessary Evil, who is owned by Dapple Stable and Glencrest Farm. Regular rider Joel Rosario is back for the Debutante.
Even with a better trip, it's unlikely Necessary Evil could have withstood the stretch drive by Mi Sueno in the Sorrento. The Pulpit miss stalked the pace while well off the rail and found her best stride in the lane, pulling away impressively in the final furlong. That was Mi Sueno's first win in three starts, including a second-place effort to Necessary Evil in their debut encounter May 31 at Hollywood. Michael Baze is aboard for the Debutante.
Both O'Neill and Guillot entered a pair, as did trainer Peter Miller.
O'Neill's other entrant is J. Paul Reddam's California-bred Repo, winner of the Landaluce Stakes on Cushion Track at Hollywood July 12 and of Del Mar's CTBA Stakes over state-bred fillies 12 days later on Polytrack. The daughter of In Excess has won three of four starts.
The stakes winners Necessary Evil, Mi Sueno, and Repo all carry the top impost of 122 pounds.
Guillot also entered Southern Equine's Champagne d'Oro, who broke her maiden at Del Mar smartly Aug. 9 by 2 1/4 lengths. The daughter of Medaglia d'Oro faced stakes company twice previously at Hollywood, finishing third in the Cinderella and fourth in the Landaluce.
Miller is represented by both Punctual and Ridemetothemoon, who were separated by a nose when running one-two, respectively, in a $40,000 start allowance at 6 1/2 furlongs Aug. 20.
Blind Luck, who broke her maiden at first asking at Calder Race Course in June, is two-for-two in her career after tallying in a starter allowance for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer July 29. It Tiz, a daughter of Tiznow , won her debut Aug. 16 at Del Mar and steps way up for Mark Glatt, as does the Cal-bred La Nez, a maiden winner locally Aug. 15 for Eric Kruljac.
Pure Class, fifth behind Champagne d'Oro in her debut Aug. 9, is the only non-winner in the field. But she hails from the barn of sizzling John Sadler, who won four races on the Del Mar card Aug. 29 and is running away with the training title with 22 victories going into the Sept. 2 program.
$300,000 Darley Debutante (gr. I, Race 8, 5:30 p.m.), 2-Year-Old Fillies, 7 Furlongs (All Weather)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Pure Class (KY), M E Smith, 116, J W Sadler
2. Champagne d'Oro (KY), M Garcia, 118, E J Guillot
3. Blind Luck (KY), R Bejarano, 116, J Hollendorfer
4. Necessary Evil (KY), J Rosario, 122, D F O'Neill
5. It Tiz (KY), J Talamo, 118, M Glatt
6. Mi Sueno (KY), M C Baze, 122, E J Guillot
7. Ridemetothemoon (KY), A Quinonez, 116, P Miller
8. Repo (CA), G K Gomez, 122, D F O'Neill
9. La Nez (CA), V Espinoza, 118, J E Kruljac
10. Punctual (FL), B Blanc, 116, P Miller