DEL MAR, CA – Levy Racing’s Beach View made his long-awaited return to the winner’s circle a big one, clearing away in the final stages to upset the heavily-favored Hoppertunity in Wednesday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar,
Breaking well from the far-outside 8 post at 9-1 odds under Rafael Bejarano, Beach View relaxed in mid-pack early while Little Scotty set initial splits of :25.56, :49.93, and 1:14.31. Settled along the rail down the backside, Beach View remained poised behind the front runners until a hole opened midway through the far turn. Quickly hustled through the gap while Hoppertunity was stuck running four-wide, Beach View soon took command and drove off convincingly, hitting the wire 4 3/4 lengths ahead in a final time of 2:34.02 for the 1 1/2-mile main track marathon.
“My horse has speed, but we came away from there nice and easy, and he was relaxed, so I took a little hold,” Bejarano said. “My position was good throughout. Then, coming for home, I got through inside, and he went. He likes the distance. It’s good for him.”
Disappointing bettors who made him 3-5, Hoppertunity had to settle for second, 2 1/4 lengths in front of Full of Luck and Twentytwentyvision Little Scotty faded to fifth, with Prince of Arabia and Unapologetic completing the order of finish. Deal With It Dude was scratched.
Beach View’s win was his first since an allowance score at Santa Anita on March 12, 2017 and his first on dirt since running fourth in last year’s Grade 3 Tokyo City Cup. The 5-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway improved his career record to 10-3-2-2 with earnings of $168,200.
“He was 0-for-2 on the dirt, but one of them was the first race of his career and the other was the Tokyo City Cup, where he ran the best number of his life,” Powell said. “I thought we would be a bit closer to the pace, but Rafael made the right call.”
Beach View returned $20 to win, $5.80 to place, and $3.80 to show. Hoppertunity brought back $2.60 to place and $2.10 to show, while Full of Luck paid $4.20 to show.