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DEL MAR, CA – The horses with arguably the two most difficult names to pronounce made it tight on the wire as Bodhicitta nipped Tonahutu in Saturday’s $150,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap (G2) at Del Mar.
Bodhicitta broke from post 2 under Flavien Prat as the 4/1 co-second choice on the tote and settled into an inside stalking position as the field exited the chute onto the main track.
Harmless shot straight to the lead and was able to run unpressured through opening fractions of :24.52, :49.97, and 1:14.58 while Tonahutu gave closest watch; Bodhicitta sat just behind them along the rail.
Tonahutu made her move in the far turn and took control inside the 3/16 pole, but Bodhicitta had tipped out and was commencing a furious rally down the middle of the lane.
She needed every inch, but the Richard Baltas-trained Bodhicitta was able to nail Tonahutu by a nose at the wire. The pair completed the 1 1/16-mile firm turf route in a final time of 1:42.83.
“I had a good post today, so I was able to get right on the fence and save ground,” Prat said. “I knew they were going slow, but my filly has a good turn of foot and we got it done.”
Though unable to hold off the top duo, Harmless held third by a 1/2-length over the winner’s stablemate Lady Prancealot, who necked out the 6/5 favorite and defending champion Beau Recall for fourth.
Summering and Keeper Ofthe Stars completed the order of finish. Jolie Olimpica was scratched.
Bodhicitta’s win was her third of the year and was a sharp bounce-back after her narrow defeat in the Gamely Stakes (G1) last time out. The British-bred 4-year-old Showcasing filly improved her record to 15-4-4-1 with $265,808 earned for Calvin Nguyen, who privately purchased her and shipped her to Baltas’ barn last summer.
“The race went about like I thought it would,” Baltas said. “I didn’t see much speed in the race. She has more tactical speed than some of the horses, like Beau Recall and others who come from the back. (Prat) saved a lot of ground and we needed all of it.”
Bodhicitta returned $11.20 to win, $5.40 to place, and $4 to show. Tonahutu brought back $11 to place and $5 to show, while Harmless paid $11 to show.
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