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DEL MAR, CA – Little Red Feather Racing’s Elm Drive dug in the length of the stretch and gamely held off Baoma Corp’s Eda by a head in a dandy horse race that decided the winner of the 53rd edition of the Sorrento Stakes (G2) Friday at Del Mar.
The headliner went with a purse of $201,500 and Elm Drive came away with the winner’s share of $120,000. She was ridden by Juan Hernandez and was saddled by Phil D’Amato.
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Finishing third was King, Kirby or Kirby’s Smash Ticket, the unlucky race favorite at 13/10 who broke badly, then ran into traffic trouble on the backside.
Elm Drive, a bay daughter of Mohaymen, is now 2 for 2 in her brief career after having easily captured her initial start in a straight maiden race at Los Alamitos on June 28. Her earnings rose to $147,000.
The winning time was 1:10.64 for the 6 furlongs.
“Phil didn’t give me any special instructions,” Hernandez said. “He just said play the break and put her in a good spot. She broke well and I had her where I wanted her. When we turned for home and the other filly (Eda) came up outside us, my filly got real brave. She dug in. She’s not afraid to fight. She’s a good one.”
Elm Drive paid $6.60, $3.80 and $2.20 across the board. Eda returned $3.20 and $2.20, while Smash Tickets paid $2.10.
The Sorrento is considered the key prep for the track’s biggest race for juvenile fillies, the $300,000 TVG Del Mar Debutante (G1), which will be contested at 7 furlongs on Sunday, September 5. D’Amato indicated that that race is the next target for Elm Drive.
“She broke on top then Juan got her to rate, make a move, and fight off a rival to her outside the length of the stretch,” D’Amato said. “I just thought that’s the epitome of class. Very professional, and I think she’s the type of filly that the longer, the better.”
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