Del Mar Show, attending the pace for the entire trip, moved smartly to the lead and proved best in a long stretch battle to take the $150,000 Bernard Baruch Handicap (gr. IIT) over the Saratoga turf Friday. Del Mar Show was sent off the third choice and paid $9.30
The win marked the fourth time in the last five years that trainer Bill Mott took the race. Jerry Bailey was the winning rider. Volponi steamed to the early lead in the nine-furlong contest, with Del Mar Show and favorite Forbidden Apple in hot pursuit. Volponi opened a one-length lead in the clubhouse turn, but Bailey sensed soft fractions and put Del Mar Show up alongside entering the backstretch. The early fractions ticked off in :23.87 and :48.92.
After a mile in 1:12.80, Del Mar Show took command turning for home as Volponi on the inside and Forbidden Apple just outside clustered ever closer coming down the lane. Del Mar Show, coming off a victory at Rockingham, held on guttily to win by a head. Volponi was a nose quicker than Forbidden Apple for the place. Final time was 1:48.51.
Del Mar Show went over the $700,000 mark in lifetime earnings with the win. He is owned by the Allen Paulson Living Trust, who bred the son of Theatrical out of the Foolish Pleasure mare Prankstress.
Mott and Bailey have teamed to win four of the last five runnings of the Bernard Baruch, including the last three in a row.
"All of them have come in the colors of Mr. (Allen) Paulson; this one is one of the last ones," said Mott.
Said Bailey: "I guess I ride for the right guy (Mott.)."
It was the ninth victory in 17 starts for Del Mar Show, a 5-year-old who has developed into a solid stakes runner.
"This horse has really come on," Mott said. "We never thought he was a top horse to begin with, but he has been improving and improving. He is in good form right now; he's on a good cycle and that's 90 percent of it. He beat some nice horses. It's just good to beat them all. He had a good trip and (Jerry Bailey) rode the horse very well. We had a feeling that it was going to be one of those races where, after the break, everyone was looking around and wondering who was going to go to the lead on the first turn. They went slow fractions, and that put us up in good position. I'm glad with the amount of daylight our horse had in front of him that he didn't get rank. He did relax well enough to finish up. It is a little bit uncommon for him to act up in the gate. I just think he was so hyped-up and ready to go, and that is something we've got to work on."
Mott said he would likely point Del Mar Show to the grade II, $200,000 Fourstardave on the August 24 Travers card.