DEL MAR, CA – Calumet Farm’s homebred Flying Scotsman took command at the top of the stretch and took off strongly in the stretch to win Sunday’s Grade 3, $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes at Del Mar.
Breaking from post 6 as the post-time even-money favorite under Flavien Prat, Flying Scotsman sat within 2 lengths of early leader Vantastic through fractions of :23.02, :46.92, and 1:11.48. Making his move through the far turn along Vantastic’s outside, Flying Scotsman straightened for home with the lead and began widening his lead. Drawing clear under steady urging, the Jerry Hollendorfer trainee hit the wire first by 4 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:34.44 for the 8-furlong event over the firm turf course. The time was a new stakes record.
“He doesn’t act like a 2-year-old; he’s very professional,” said Prat, who along with Hollendorfer swept both stakes races on the Sunday Del Mar card. “When I asked him today, he gave me a very good kick. He feels like he’ll run on and on.”
Rijeka ran well in the stretch and surpassed Vantastic in the shadow of the wire to take second by a 1/2-length. Takeo Squared ran three-wide through both turns and was empty when the real running began, outlasting only Sayin Grace to complete the order of finish. Irish Heatwave was scratched.
Flying Scotsman’s win was his second straight following a maiden-breaking effort last out going 8 furlongs over the firm Santa Anita course on September 29. The juvenile ridgling son of English Channel, one of Calumet Farm’s top stallions, has now earned $97,200 in his young career.
“He’s done very well since we’ve had him,” Hollendorfer said. “Usually, I like to sprint them twice, but he didn’t seem to like that, so we put him at a mile the second time out, and he liked that. Since then, he’s trained very well and looks like a pretty good prospect. He rated perfectly today and he had a great trip. I think we’ll stay on the grass with him in the future, if that’s possible.”
Flying Scotsman returned $4 to win, $2.80 to place, and $2.10 to show. Rijeka brought back $3.60 to place and $2.80 to show, while Vantastic paid $2.40 to show.