'Executive' Sweet in Sorrento
by Evan Hammonds
Date Posted: 8/8/2012 9:10:21 PM
Last Updated: 8/9/2012 1:10:49 PM

Executiveprivilege holds off Speedinthruthecity to win the Sorrento at Del Mar.
Photo: Benoit Photo

Executiveprivilege ran to her good looks and to her 2-5 backing Aug. 8 at Del Mar in the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III). The 2-year-old filly by First Samurai   covered the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.98 and defeated Speedinthruthecity by 1 1/4 lengths (VIDEO).

Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Executiveprivilege tracked the early pace set by Bares Tripper, who went in :22.58 and :46.01 over the Polytrack. The winner moved to the lead turning for home and held Speedinthruthecity safe while racing in the middle of the track.

"She just trains herself," trainer Bob Baffert said. "We just let her run around there in the mornings, we haven't really done a lot with her. She loves this surface, she loves dirt, Hollywood Park (synthetic)—she didn't have any problem with it.

"She's really talented. Just a really good filly. I knew coming in here she was special and he (Bejarano) rides her with a lot of confidence."

The winner is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman, the team that has raced such stars at champions Lookin At Lucky  Midnight Lute  , and inaugural Breeders' Cup Juvenile Sprint winner Secret Circle.

Baffert won the Sorrento for the fifth time, having taken the 1991 running with Soviet Sojourn; back-to-back wins in 1998-99 with 2-year-old filly champions Silverbulletday and Chilukki; and in 2004 with Inspiring.

The winner, bred in Kentucky by D.J. Stable, Kidder, J. Betz, and Robenalt, is out of the Unaccounted For mare Refugee, who ran third in the 2002 Orchid Handicap (gr. IIT) at Gulfstream Park. Executiveprivilege is a half sister to Profit (by Not For Love  ), who ran third earlier this year in Laurel Park's Jameela Stakes. The Sorrento winner was sold to agent Hubert Guy for $23,000 from the Betz Thoroughbred consignment at the 2010 Keeneland September yearling sale. Consigned by Eddie Woods to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s April 2-year-old sale, she topped the sale when The Three Amigos paid $650,000 for her.

Following impressive wins at Betfair Hollywood Park in a 5 1/2-furlong maiden special weight June 28 and the $150,000 Landaluce Stakes July 14, Executiveprivilege was bet down to 40 cents on the dollar in the Sorrento and paid $2.80, $2.20, and $2.10. Speedinthruthecity returned $4.40 and $3.40. Switch to the Lead paid $4. The $1 7-6 exacta paid $3.80 and 7-6-8 trifecta returned $14.40.

"She broke sharp and he (Rafael Bejarano) just kept her off the pace," Baffert said. "She got a lot out of it, so it will set her up for the Debutante."

The seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) is Sept. 1.

Renee's Titan ran fourth and was followed by Somethingabouther, Wittgenstein, O Happy Gray, and Bares Tripper. Serious was scratched.



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