DEL MAR, CA – After stalking the pace through most of the race, Winter Quarter Farm’s Cambodia was much the best in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap.
The 5-year-old daughter of War Front invaded from east of the Mississippi, where she had been exclusively racing, and pulled in her second career graded stakes victory. She previously took this year’s Grade 3 Gallorette Stakes at Pimlico before finishing third in the Grade 3 Dr James Penny Memorial Stakes at Parx. She finished the 1 1/16-mile turf race in 1:40.86 for her fifth win in 12 career starts.
“The key for her is to get her to relax,” winning jockey Drayden Van Dyke said. “Today, she did it beautifully. So different than when I worked her; she’s all keyed up. But she was just fine today. Could she run on? If she relaxes, I think she can do anything. A very good race for her today.”
Pretty Girl got up for second by a head over Amboseli. Hillhouse High, Frenzified, Avenge, and Juno completed the order of finish. Kiss Me Now scratched.
“I rode her like I wanted to win,” said Mike Smith, jockey aboard Pretty Girl. “I took all the chances I could. But she didn’t win. Maybe I should have done something different. But she ran well.”
The Thomas Proctor-trained mare increased her career earnings to $373,746 with the winner’s share of $120,000.
“I’ve had this filly’s entire family, it’s the ultimate breeder’s reward,” said owner Don Robinson. “I’ve never had a horse of my own of this quality. Thank you, Tom Proctor; he’s the horseman’s horseman, and this is just a thrill. This is the biggest thrill of my life. I came here in 1966 and walked hots for Charlie Whittingham. I came back when Zenyatta won the Clement Hirsch. This is only my third visit and it’s an amazing thrill to come here and win this race.”
Cambodia returned $6.60 to win, $4.20 to place, and $3.40 to show. Pretty Girl brought back $7 to place and $4.40 to show, while Amboseli paid $5 to show.