DEL MAR, CA – A perfectly-timed ride from jockey Kent Desormeaux was the difference-maker as Fatale Bere nipped the 9/5 favorite Ollie’s Candy in the shadow of the wire to take Saturday’s Grade 1, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks Presented by The Jockey Club.
Breaking cleanly from post 8 at odds of 7/1, Fatale Bere settled towards the rear while Animosity and Ms Bad Behavior dueled through opening fractions of :23.26, :47.01, and 1:12.31. Nearing the 3/8 pole, Animosity suddenly veered in and hit the rail, though serious no incidents occurred as a result. As she began fading, Ollie’s Candy made her move along the outside and began to draw off as she straightened for home, but behind her, Fatale Bere was mounting a serious drive. Running five-wide in the stretch, Fatale Bere closed over 3 lengths to catch the bettors’ choice, and in the final steps, the Leonard Powell trainee pushed forward to win by a neck in a final time of 1:48.14 for the 1 1/8-mile turf event.
“Today, I got the trip,” Desormeaux said. “Last time (in the Grade 1 Belmont Oaks), I had to go their way. This time, I got to let her go when I was ready. Felt good; she was really running. They were playing ping-pong by the 3/8 (pole), but I avoided all of that and just got to run my race. Good stuff.”
Californiagoldrush ran four-wide late to get up for third by 3/4 of a length over a late-fading Ms Bad Behavior. Colonia headed Paved for fifth, while the rest of the field was scattered behind them. Movie Moment took seventh over Fool’s Paradise, with Ms Peintour, So Hi Society, Animosity, and Streetwithnoname completing the order of finish.
Fatale Bere’s win was her second on the year (including the Grade 3 Providencia Stakes in April) and improved her overall record to 10-5-0-1. The 3-year-old French-bred daughter of Pedro the Great has now earned $422,964 for owners Benowitz Family Trust, Head of Plains Partners, Mark Mathiesen, and Mathilde Powell.
“To win a Grade 1 is of great value and this is a filly that I scouted a year ago in France and purchased privately for owners that have been very loyal to the stable,” Leonard Powell said. “The only instructions I said to Kent was to keep her covered up early. If you don’t keep her covered up, she’s rank, she pulls, sometimes the saddle goes forward. So the key is to keep her covered up, and then she’s good enough to do the job.”
Fatale Bere returned $16 to win, $6.80 to place, and $5.20 to show. Ollie’s Candy brought back $4.40 to place and $3.40 to show, while Californiagoldrush paid $6.20 to show.