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DEL MAR, CA – Mucho Unusual sat back and made a marvelous late run to win Saturday’s $200,000 San Clemente Stakes (G2) at Del Mar. This was the third consecutive win for the three-year-old Cal-bred daughter of Mucho Macho Man and first career graded stakes win.
Keeper Ofthe Stars broke well and went to the front but Devils Dance got to the lead along the rail first to claim the early lead with Harmless just to her outside. The post-time favorite, Mucho Unusual, broke a step slow and settled in as the early trailer. As they made their way into the backstretch, Harmless and Devils Dance jostled for the lead while setting fractions of 22.72, :46.50, and 1:10.84.
Into the final turn, Harmless had a slight lead but the entire field was close behind and ready to make a move. Apache Princess got up well on the outside to claim the lead by the top of the stretch and looked to be in a good position as they headed for home. Mucho Unusual shot around the turn and came flying up the middle of the stretch with an impressive late run down the outside and Over Emphasize flew up along the rail with a late burst of speed. With just a few strides left to go, Mucho Unusual passed Apache Princess on the lead and finished a neck ahead for first. Over Emphasize continued on for third and Keeper Ofthe Stars finished fourth.
“She just didn’t show me a lot (of speed) early, so I let her do her thing away from there,” said winning jockey Joel Rosario. “On the backside, she wanted to go, so we went after them. Turning for home I thought about going down inside, but she was making up ground and I didn’t want to chance it. She had that nice acceleration through the stretch and we got it. I love it here at Del Mar.“
Mucho Unusual, owned and bred in California by George Krikorian and trained by Tim Yakteen.
“I left it up to Joel, but I was just as surprised as everybody else that she was as far back as she was,” said trainer Tim Yakteen. “She was doing really well and I conveyed that to Joel in the paddock. We’re really pleased with her effort. Things have been going according to plan and this is one industry where that doesn’t often happen. The prep race at Santa Anita set her up well for this and this should set her up well for the (Del Mar) Oaks.”
Mucho Unusual returned $7.00 to win, $4.00 to place, and $3.40 to show. Apache Princess brought back $11.80 to place and $7.20 to show, while Over Emphasize paid $4.60 to show.
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