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DEL MAR, CA – Head of Plains Partners homebred Fluffy Socks crossed the wire first, then survived a lengthy inquiry before officially winning Saturday’s $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3) at Del Mar.
Sent from post 8 under Irad Ortiz Jr. as the 8/5 favorite, Fluffy Socks settled off the pace toward the rear of the field as Plum Sexy led the way through opening fractions of :22.71, :47.00, and 1:11.69.
Tipped off the rail to ride alongside Javanica heading into the far turn, Fluffy Socks continued angling outward and caused Consternation to check off heels midway through the turn.
Still swinging out to get clear as she neared the top of the stretch, Fluffy Socks surged to the lead in mid-stretch and held off Javanica’s strong re-rally to win by a 1/2-length.
Invading from the east coast, the Chad Brown trainee completed the firm turf mile route in 1:35.35, besting the previous stakes record of 1:35.68 set in 2018.
“No special instructions for me; (Brown) just said ‘Ride her like you did before,'” Ortiz Jr. said. “She felt like a winner all the way around. We had some traffic on the turn, but I got through and got her to where I wanted to be. She’s a nice filly. Big kick.”
Javanica held second by a neck over Quattroelle, who took a brief bump from Consternation during her far-turn contact with the winner. Pizzazz finished fourth after taking command in mid-stretch but failing to hold.
Consternation, Magical Thought, Inner Beauty, Plum Sexy, Nimbostratus, and Closing Remarks completed the order of finish in the race restricted to 2-year-old fillies.
Bay Storm (on veterinarian’s orders), Invincible Gal, and Polished Lady were scratched.
A steward’s inquiry and a jockey’s objection from Drayden Van Dyke (aboard Consternation) did not result in any change to the original order of finish.
Fluffy Socks’ win was her third in her past 4 starts, including the Selima Stakes 2 starts back, to improve her record to 5-3-1-0. The Slumber daughter has now earned $226,880.
“I really thought this filly was going to win,” said assistant trainer Jose Hernandez. “She’s a really nice one.”
Fluffy Socks returned $5.40 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.60 to show. Javanica brought back $5.20 to place and $3.80 to show, while Quattroelle paid $4.80 to show.
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