Mokat and jockey Kent Desormeaux collaborated to score a decisive victory in the $201,725 San Clemente Handicap for three-year-old fillies, in 1:35.23 for the mile over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
KENT DESORMEAUX (Mokat, winner) – “She was full of run. Richie (Baltas, trainer) said the one thing he wanted me to do was to get her to relax. Down the backside, she was as cool as the cucumber. Then the speed backed up into us and I peeled her out. She did it all on her own. She was good. How good is she? He (Baltas) thought enough of her to run her against (champion) Songbird (twice at Santa Anita, where Mokat ran second and third to her). That tells you something about her (Mokat). And what does this race tell you about Songbird?”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Lady Valeur, second) – “She was lugging out on me early. But I stayed on the rail and tried to save her. I got a good run; no excuses. The winner was just much the best.”
ALEX SOLIS (Stays in Vegas, third) – “My trip was OK. She gave me some punch at the end. The mile and an eighth of the Oaks – I think she might be tough there.”
RICHARD BALTAS (Mokat, winner) – “I thought she might be a little bit short. We gave her a rest after the Kentucky Oaks aiming for this race and she breezed very well on the turf here (July 12). She’s just a different horse on the turf. I said ‘I hope we have her fit enough’ and she was. The Del Mar Oaks is next.”
FRACTIONS: :23.14 :47.06 1:11.31 1:22.82 1:35.23
The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Desormeaux and his third in the San Clemente. He now has 74 stakes wins at Del Mar, ninth best of all time.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Baltas and his first in the San Clemente. He now has six stakes wins at the shore.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club