Close menu
Kingly Wires La Jolla

Kingly Wires La Jolla

DEL MAR, CA – While trainer Bob Baffert was still in New York celebrating his Whitney Stakes (G1) win with McKinzie yesterday, Kingly took his first trip around the turf with great aplomb as he wired Sunday’s $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (G3) at Del Mar.

( Content Continues Below Ad )

Breaking from post 2 under Mario Gutierrez as the 8/1 fourth betting choice, Kingly brushed slightly with Neptune’s Storm to his inside as they raced two-wide down the chute. Nearing the clubhouse turn, Kingly surged forward and suddenly was 5 lengths clear on the lead.

Unchallenged as he covered the backstretch in fractions of :22.15 and :46.16, Kingly came under pressure to his outside from Neptune’s Storm, but the pacesetter had more left in the tank. Repelling Neptune’s Storm’s bid off of the turn, Kingly dug deep when that foe re-bid late and had just enough to neck out the victory. The Baffert trainee completed the 1 1/16-mile event over the firm turf course in 1:39.95.

“He’s a hard horse to ride,” Gutierrez said. “We’ve tried different things with him, but today, we just decided to let him do his thing. He took me there and then he rated perfectly. In the stretch, he just went. He’s a nice horse.”

Sent off as the 9/5 favorite, Neptune’s Storm needed just a few more feet to get the job done, but still finished 3 1/4 lengths ahead of Jasikan for second. Rijeka made a late bid between horses to get up for fourth by a 1/2-length over Gregorian Chant, while behind them came StubbinsGolden Birthday, and King of Speed to complete the order of finish.

Kingly’s win was his second of the year, having won the $100,000 California Derby over the Golden Gate Fields synthetic surface in April. The 3-year-old son of Tapit improved his record to 8-3-2-2 with $242,200 earned for co-owners Clearview Stables, RAC 04 Racing, and Michael Meegan.

“His prior races have been a little erratic,” said assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes. “We tried to cover him up, take him back, and a few things, but at the end of the day, I think it’s best to just let him run. He’s a Tapit and they’re all different, but I think he wants to be free on the lead. When he rebroke when the other horse got close, I was very happy with him. Mario knew what to do; he had a plan and he executed it. “

Kingly returned $18.60 to win, $8.60 to place, and $4.80 to show. Neptune’s Storm brought back $3.80 to place and $2.60 to show, while Jasikan paid $2.60 to show.

Join the Inner Circle

Sign up for exclusive 10% discount on orders, plus be the first to access our daily free and premium horse racing picks, articles, podcasts, and more!

Sign Up