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Prince Early Returns Sharply in Del Mar Mile

Prince Early Returns Sharply in Del Mar Mile

DEL MAR, CA – Old Bones Racing Stable and Todd Marshall’s Prince Earl made a sharp return to the track, showing zero rust as he rallied late to win Sunday’s $200,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2).

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Breaking from the rail under Geovanni Franco at 9/1 odds, Prince Earl took back and saved ground in mid-pack while What a View posted opening fractions of :23.20, :46.46, and 1:09.63. Patiently handled, Prince Earl waited until the field had straightened for home before launching his attack.

Splitting foes in mid-stretch, Prince Earl squeaked through and shot past late to take command. The Phil D’Amato trainee crossed 3/4 of a length clear in a final time of 1:33.13 for the mile-long firm turf event.

“Phil said, ‘He’s going to run big; just be patient,’” Franco said. “I had the good post to save ground on the grass and it worked out just that way. He was very responsive to me all the way around. When I asked him, he had a nice kick. It was a lovely ride.”

The fight for second resulted in a photo finish that ultimately went to Sharp Samurai by a nose over Grecian Fire, with the Kilroe Mile Stakes (G1) winner Ohio 3/4 of a length behind them in fourth. The 7/5 favorite Bowies Hero had to steady between foes in deep stretch and fell back to fifth by the wire. Majestic Eagle rallied from the rear to head a fading What a View for sixth, while behind him came BoloDouble Touch, and El Picaro to complete the order of finish.

Bombard was scratched.

Prince Earl’s win was his first since an allowance score here last September 1 and improved his overall record to 5-3-0-0, with his two losses coming in the Let It Ride Stakes and the Hollywood Derby (G1). The California-bred 4-year-old gelded son of Paddy O’Prado, purchased for $25,000 as a yearling, has now earned $224,778.

“I thought a lot of him as a 3-year-old,” D’Amato said. “He had some unlucky trips in some pretty strong races his last two as a 3-year-old. We gave him plenty of time off, did a minor throat procedure on him, and he’s come back with a vengeance as a 4-year-old. We decided to take a big shot here and got a great ride by Geovanni Franco.”

Prince Earl returned $21.60 to win, $11 to place, and $7.60 to show. Sharp Samurai brought back $6.80 to place and $4.40 to show, while Grecian Fire paid $6.40 to show.

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