DEL MAR, CA – Sierra Racing and Sterling Stables’ Raymundos Secret struck the front end at the start and held sway through to the wire in Saturday’s $150,000 John C. Mabee Stakes (G2) at Del Mar.
Raymundos Secret was made the 7/5 favorite under Flavien Prat as she broke alertly from the far outside post 8 and outkicked her rivals to cross over safely to the wire before the field exited the chute onto the main turf oval.
A three-wide wall consisting of Zee Drop, Quick, and Pulpit Meal Ticket gave closest chase as Raymundos Secret was able to set tepid opening fractions of :24.87, :48.60, and 1:12.52.
Straightening for home still some distance ahead of her nearest rival, Raymundos Secret responded when Prat asked and began drawing away. Lady Prancealot came flying down the stretch under a full head of steam, but she came up a neck short.
The Phil D’Amato-trained Raymundos Secret completed the 1 1/8-mile firm turf route in a final time of 1:48.60.
“The plan wasn’t necessarily to go to the front; just to break her out of there and see what happens,” Prat said. “She broke super sharp and we were on the lead. From there, I just tried to get her to relax and to slow it down as best as I could. Then, when we went for home, she gave me a good kick. She just had enough at the end.”
Lady Prancealot’s bid put her 1 length ahead of Catch the Eye, who was along the rail and matching Lady Prancealot’s rally for much of the stretch run.
Zee Drop necked out Don’t Blame Judy for fourth. Quick, Pulpit Rider, and Meal Ticket completed the order of finish.
Raymundos Secret’s win was her second straight following an allowance score over the local lawn last month, which was her first start back after nearly 10 months away. The 4-year-old Florida-bred Treasure Beach filly improved her record to 7-5-0-0 with $188,971 earned.
“It’s a good accomplishment,” Prat said after tying Rafael Bejarano’s 2012 record for most stakes wins in a meet (13). “I’m glad for it. I’m hoping I’ve got one or two more before we’re done here, too.”
Raymundos Secret returned $4.80 to win, $2.40 to place, and $2.40 to show. Lady Prancealot brought back $2.80 to place and $2.40 to show, while Catch the Eye paid $4.60 to show.