Unbeaten Enola Gray, the 1-9 favorite in a field of five California-bred three-year-old fillies, ran to her odds and then some Friday as she romped to a seven and three-quarter length triumph in the featured $150,000 Fleet Treat Stakes.
The issue never seemed in doubt as Enola Gray pressed the early pace, cruised to the lead in the upper stretch under little urging from jockey Tyler Baze and breezed to the wire in the stakes record time of 1:21.24 for the seven furlongs. The former stakes record of 1:21.40 was set by Princess Royalty in 1990.
Enola Gray, a daughter of Grazen bred and owned by Nick Alexander and trained by Phil D’Amato, was scoring her third easy victory. She broke her maiden by more than 16 lengths at Santa Anita last April, and won the Melair B Stakes by two and one-quarter lengths in late May.
Allsquare, an 11-1 outsider ridden by Joe Talamo, was runner-up, a length and one-quarter ahead of Fantasy of Luck who nosed out The Spiral Jetter for third. Withdrawn from the line-up were Roo’s Valentine and Be a Lady, the latter scratched by stewards when she refused to go to the starting gate.
Enola Gray returned $2.20, $2.10 and $2.10 while earning $85,000 to increase her earnings to $228,600. Because of heavy wagering to show on the winner, there was a minus pool of $51,393. Allsquare paid $3.20 and $2.40, while Fantasy of Luck returned $2.20 to show.
With a one-day carryover of $68,514, there were thirty perfect tickets in the Pick Six and each paid $15,147.
Racing resumes Saturday with 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome heading the line-up in the $200,000 San Diego Handicap. Post time for the first race is 2 p.m.
TYLER BAZE (Enola Gray, winner) – “I’ve never won a race any easier. She’s just unbelievable. She’s so special. I’d say the race was probably over by the half-mile pole. She just goes so easy. All I’ve got to do is keep her happy. She handles all the rest.”
JOE TALAMO (Allsquare, second) – “She ran good. It was a long way up front to the winner, though.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Fantasy of Luck, third) – “She broke good and I sat up front easy. But the winner took me on early and blew me away. Too tough.”
PHIL D’AMATO (Enola Gray, winner) –“She’s learning to relax in her races and flash a turn of foot. She’s slowly coming around. She showed a new dimension today, she sat off the pace and kicked home and did it the right way. There’s still a lot of room for improvement and development in her. We’re just going to take it step by step and see what happens. I don’t have any plans for her next race yet.”
FRACTIONS: :22.46 :45.02 1:08.83 1:21.24
The final time is a stakes record in this, the 31st running of the race. (Previous record 1:21.40 by Princess Royalty in 1990.)
The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Baze and his first in the Fleet Treat. He now has 26 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the third of the meet for trainer D’Amato (there have been seven stakes run thus far), but his first in the Fleet Treat. He now has 10 stakes wins at Del Mar.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club