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DEL MAR, CA – For the second year in a row, Mr. and Mrs. Larry Williams’ Pulpit Rider was up in the very last stride to win by a nose in the $150,000 Solana Beach Stakes.
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The now 6-year-old mare by the late sire Lucky Pulpit benefitted from a heady ride by Del Mar’s top jockey Flavien Prat and caught Legacy Ranch’s Nardini right on the wire. This was actually Pulpit Rider’s third straight start in the Solana Beach. In 2019, she finished second, but was disqualified back to sixth for interference.
The winner, who is trained by Mike Puype, ran the mile on grass in 1:34.21 in the Cal-bred headliner. She picked up a check of $85,500 for her efforts and moved her bankroll up to $563,177. Pulpit Rider now shows a racing line that reads 29-7-1-5.
“I rode her with a lot of confidence,” Prat said. “Mike gave me that confidence. He said she was ready and to ride her that way. I thought I’d won the bob at the end, but you don’t know about those things. It worked out.”
Pulpit Rider returned $16.60, $6.20 and $3.00 across the board. Nardini paid $9.40 and $3.60, while Benjamin and Sally Warren’s Warren’s Showtime, the race favorite, paid $2.20 to show.
“She gives a good account of herself every time,” Puype said. “The record speaks for itself. She’s up over $550,000 in earnings and that’s a heck of a resume for a Cal-bred. She’s healthy, she’s sound and not showing she’s nearing retirement. I’d like to think she could run in this next year, but that’s up to the owners. Great ride by Flavien today. I don’t know if you’ll see her again during the meeting, but maybe in November.”
Rider Abel Cedillo rode four winners on the afternoon and moved into a second-place tie in the jockey standing with Juan Hernandez with 21 firsts after 18 days of racing. Prat won 2 races on the afternoon and continues to lead the jockey tilt with 26 winners.
For the 16th straight racing day, the track’s Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot wager went unsolved and its carryover climbed once more, this time to $1,645,118. It will be up for grabs when racing resumes at the shore oval on Thursday with an eight-race card and a 2 p.m. first post.
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