DEL MAR, CA – Zedan Racing Stables’ Princess Noor cruised home an eye-catching winner in Sunday’s $250,000 Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1).
Princess Noor, the 3/5 favorite under Victor Espinoza, broke sharply inward from post 4, knocking into her inner rivals before correcting her course.
She soon shifted out to settle three-wide and in the clear behind early pacesetters Illumination and Forest Caraway through opening fractions of :23.01 and :45.49.
Princess Noor ranged up to challenge midway through the far turn and straightened for home in clear command.
The Bob Baffert trainee was never asked in the stretch before crossing 6 1/2 lengths the best in a final time of 1:10.03 for the 7-furlong fast dirt sprint.
“Yes, she’s a little green,” Espinoza said. “Coming away from there, she went in a bit and I tried to get her off as quickly as I could. You try to control the babies as best as you can, especially at the break. … My filly was OK from there. I really don’t know how good she is because I haven’t let her run yet. It’s nice to be back at Del Mar and riding good horses.”
Forest Caraway outkicked Forest Caraway, the winner’s stablemate, by 2 1/4 lengths for second. Get On the Bus and Roll Up Mo Money completed the order of finish in the race restricted to juvenile fillies.
My Girl Red was pulled up on the backstretch after jockey Flavien Prat felt that she was moving poorly as a result of the contact with Princess Noor at the start. My Girl Red walked back to the barn under her own power.
The stewards conducted an inquiry into the start but ultimately made no change to the original order of finish.
Princess Noor’s win followed her equally-impressive debut, a 5 1/2-furlong dash over this course on August 22 that she won by 2 1/2 lengths in hand. The daughter of Not This Time, a $1.35 million auction purchase this past April, has now earned $183,000.
“We knew going in she was a special filly,” Baffert said. “She showed so much brilliance at the sale, that’s why she cost so much, and we got what we expected to see today. She broke a little off kilter and was behind horses, but Victor didn’t really push her, especially at the end. We’re happy to get the win.”
Princess Noor returned $3.40 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Forest Caraway brought back $4 to place and $3 to show, while Illumination paid $3.60 to show.