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Del Mar Preview | Cecil B. DeMille Stakes 2023: Lord Bullingdon In Rematch Vs Stay Hot
Lord Bullingdon (Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire/Breeders Cup)

Del Mar Preview | Cecil B. DeMille Stakes 2023: Lord Bullingdon In Rematch Vs Stay Hot

The final day of the 2023 Turf Festival features two graded stakes, beginning with the G3 Cecil B. DeMille, a one mile test on the grass for 2-year-olds.

The G3 Cecil B. DeMille is Race 5 on the nine-race Sunday card. It’s named after the film producer and director who is considered the founding father of American Cinema. Approximate post time for the stakes is 2:30 p.m.

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Nine colts are ready to lock horns. Some have already tested stakes company with less than favorable results. Except one.

Lord Bullingdon broke his maiden last out in the $150,000 Qatar Golden Mile on the Friday Breeders’ Cup undercard. He’s a son of Lord Nelson and has run the one mile turf in three of his four career starts.

He made his debut in a dirt sprint at Los Alamitos, when he ran a distant second to Prince of Monaco, who would later win the G1 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity. Lord Bullingdon followed that effort with a runner-up finish to Endlessly in the G3 Del Mar Juvenile Turf on closing day of the summer meet.

He then ran a troubled fifth in a maiden race at Santa Anita but rebounded with his winning effort in the Golden Mile, scoring by 3 ¾ lengths.

“He ran super that day,” trainer Michael McCarthy says. “He got a nice pace to run into. I’m not sure if we’ll get that same sort of set up but he’s training well.”

A horse that beat Lord Bullingdon in the October maiden race at Santa Anita is entered in the Cecil B. DeMille. Stay Hot broke his maiden in his third career start. Trainer Peter Eurton brought him back in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and he finished 10th of 11.

“It was just too tough, for the time being,” Eurton says. “We had to use him a little bit more than I would have wanted early on to stay in a contentious position. But for all intents and purposes he didn’t get beat very far. We’ll just have to see if we can grow with that.”

Rothschild looked like a promising colt coming out of his maiden victory at Del Mar in August. So much so that trainer Tim Yakteen tried the son of Uncle Mo in the G1 Del Mar Futurity and then the G1 American Pharoah. The Cecil B. DeMille should be less deep than those last two races.

“The colt has really matured over the last couple of months,” Yakteen says. “We’re looking forward to seeing him on the grass. I think that might be his calling. With these young horses it’s a matter of finding what their optimum calling is. That’s what the process is, trying to find where they are going to perform at their best.”

Here’s the field from the rail with jockeys and morning line odds:

  1. Rothschild (Ramon Vasquez, 12-1)
  2. Miracle Mark (Diego Herrera, 5-1)
  3. Just a Guess (Mario Gutierrez, 12-1)
  4. Lord Bullingdon (Umberto Rispoli, 5/2)
  5. Invincible (Joel Rosario, 6-1)
  6. Charge for Gold (Ricky Gonzalez, 30-1)
  7. Deadpan (Flavien Prat, 6-1)
  8. Always On Cay (Mike Smith, 6-1)
  9. Stay Hot (Antonio Fresu, 3-1)