Del Mar Report #3: Stellar Wind Upsets Beholder

Hronis Racing's Stellar Wind and jockey Victor Espinoza, left, overpower Beholder (Gary Stevens), right, to win the Grade I, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, Saturday, July 30, 2016 at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Del Mar CA.
©Benoit Photo

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: STELLAR WIND – This was a weekend filled with upsets, and while this was not a monumental upset like we saw at Saratoga it was still a shock to a lot of racing fans.  Everyone just assume that the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch was just going to be a nice and easy prep for the champion Beholder on her way to the Pacific Classic.  That didn’t happen though as Stellar Wind, a champion herself, eye-balled the great Beholder and put her away in the stretch to win by a half of a length.  The win gives Stellar Wind a 1-1 record against Beholder this year, and amazingly put her in a position to get the upper hand on Beholder if she can beat her again.  This could now springboard Stellar Wind to a whole other level.

– 2nd Star: LORD NELSON – After his Triple Bend victory Lord Nelson was thought by some to be the top sprinter in the country, and now after his Grade 1 Bing Crosby romp on Sunday he’s confirmed those thoughts.  Make no mistake though as this race set up perfectly for him.  With a massive pace duel up front Lord Nelson was right there to pick up the pieces and romp home.  This was a big win for Lord Nelson as the speculation was he may be more of a seven furlong horse rather than a six furlong horse.  That doubt can now be put aside with this one.  As of now he’s your early Breeders Cup Sprint favorite.

– 3rd Star: AMERICAN CLEOPATRA – How amazing was this…and how in the world did the full sister of American Pharoah go off at 7-1?!?!  After speculation all week of American Cleopatra needing a race much like her brother did, that didn’t turn out to be the case at all.  She broke on her toes, stalked the pace setter, and absolutely pulled in the stretch to dominate at first asking.  Now what…can she possibly be half as good as her brother?  It will be fascinating to see her develop over the coming months as her performance on Sunday puts her right in the mix with the best two year old fillies we’ve seen so far.

Flop of the Week

SUBTLE INDIAN – It’s not that I expected Subtle Indian to win, but for him to outdueled by a three year old was a bit disappointing.  Subtle Indian and Justin Squared went on a suicide mission in the Grade 1 Bing Crosby, and Subtle Indian was the first one to throw in the towel.  Perhaps a class drop is needed now.

Trainer Standings Jockey Standings
1. Phillip D’Amato – 6 1. Flavien Prat – 16
1. John Sadler – 6 2. Santiago Gonzalez – 11
1. Mark Glatt- 6 3. Tyler Baze – 9
1. Bob Baffert – 6 4. Victor Espinoza – 8
5. Peter Miiller – 5 4. Rafael Bejarano – 8
5. Richard Baltas – 5 6. Kent Desormeaux – 7
7. Jerry Hollendorfer – 4 6. Stewart Elliott – 7
8. Doug O’Neill – 3 8. Mario Gutierrez – 6
8. Six others tied at 3 9. Norberto Arroyo – 4

Preview to Next Week

Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$100,000 Guaranteed
5 1/2 Furlongs
Fri. Aug. 5th Daisycutter Handicap
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
5 Furlongs (Turf)
$150,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Aug. 6th SORRENTO STAKES (Gr. II)
Fillies, Two-year-olds
$200,000 Guaranteed
6 1/2 Furlongs
Sun. Aug. 7th Osunitas Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S of $50,000 at 1 M o/o in 2016
$75,000 Added
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
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