DEL MAR, CA – Reddam Racing’s Encumbered broke free off of the far turn and ran unhindered down the stretch to capture Sunday’s $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Turf.
Jockey Mario Gutierrez quickly maneuvered Encumbered down towards the rail after emerging from post 13, eventually settling into a midpack slot three-wide into the far turn. Meanwhile, Armour Plate chimed early fractions of :22.91, :46.23, and 1:10.81 on the front end under Gary Stevens.
Exiting four wide onto the front stretch, Gutierrez put Encumbered to work, inching away from his rivals to hit the wire first in a final time of 1:35.90 for the mile-long turf event. It was the Simon Callaghan trainee’s second victory in as many attempts at Del Mar, having broken his maiden on July 30.
“He broke well and Mario did a super good job of getting him over,” Callaghan said. “Sometimes, you can get hung out wide in these sort of big field turf races. But Mario got him over, got him relaxed, and the race worked out for us. This has been a really good meet for us. The team has done a great job, we’ve had some momentum, and things have worked out for the best.”
Much of the field was close behind Encumbered. My Boy Jack, the second-place finisher in Encumbered’s maiden-breaker, repeated that effort today, rallying late to finish a 1/2-length behind. Kazan also charged hard down the stretch, finishing a nose in front of Pubilius Syrus. Another head back came Big Buzz, with Cono nosing out Take the One O One. Respect the Hustle, Armour Plate, Martin Riggs, Bombardeo, Linburgh’s Kitten, Captain Buzzkill, and Rockaway completed the order of finish. An Ocala Ten and For Him were scratched as also-eligibles.
“(Trainer Simon Callaghan) said there were a lot of maidens in the race, a lot of green horses,” said Gutierrez. “He said just don’t get in trouble. Find a spot and stay out of trouble. We were able to do that and got a good trip. He likes running on the grass. And I like riding him.”
The winner’s share of $60,000 increased Encumbered’s career bankroll to $102,000. The son of Violence stamped himself as a major contender in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf race, which will be held under the exact same conditions here at Del Mar on November 3.
Encumbered paid $9.40 to win, $4.60 to place, and $3.60 to show. My Boy Jack paid $4.20 to place and $3.60 to show, while Kazan paid $7.60 to show.