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CYPRESS, CA – Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum’s Dabster took over in the far turn and then held sway in the stretch run Sunday to win the inaugural running of the $100,000 Los Alamitos Special Stakes.
Breaking from post 7 under Joe Talamo as the 8/5 favorite, Dabster ran in second off the rail while Little Scotty blitzed off to a big early lead through opening fractions of :23.01, :47.39, and 1:12.03. Ranging up along the pacesetter’s outside heading into the far turn, Dabster collared and passed him with ease. Though several foes loomed a threat, Dabster dug in and refused to yield, crossing the wire with a 2-length advantage in a track-record time of 2:00.45 for the 1 1/4-mile event.
“He’s a real cool horse, very gutty,” Talamo said. “It’s fun to ride one like that. I was trying to give him a breather on the turn, and when they came to him in the stretch, he did all the work.’’
After making a five-wide bid for the lead off of the far turn, Divisor posed the biggest threat to the winner, but he couldn’t keep up late and settled for second. Colonist also gave chase but wasn’t strong enough and finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Divisor for third. Ya Gotta Wanna took fourth over Twentytwentyvision, with Engram and a spent Little Scotty completing the order of finish. Giant Influence and India Mantuana were both scratched.
Dabster’s win was his second straight following a gate-to-wire score in the $75,000 Harry F. Brubaker Stakes at a mile over the Del Mar main track. The 4-year-old son of Curlin now carries a record of 9-5-0-1 and a bankroll of $252,425.
“We thought one or two of them might go, but if nobody wanted the lead, we were going to go,” said assistant trainer Mike Marlow. “It set up well. Joe was smart. He let (Little Scotty) wing, but stayed in contention. We thought he would like the distance. He’s a big, long-striding horse who can gallop all day.’’
Dabster returned $5.20 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.60 to show. Divisor brought back $8.80 to place and $4.40 to show, while Colonist paid $2.40 to show.
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