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DEL MAR, CA – Lovingier, London, or Zondlo’s Rock N Rye scampered home by 4 1/4 lengths in Sunday’s $100,000 Graduation Stakes at Del Mar, then had to withstand a rider’s objection before he was made the official winner of the 5 1/2-furlong dash for California-bred juveniles.
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The race originally had six youngsters entered, but two scratches reduced the field to four and cancelled show betting. The winner covered the distance in 1:05.77.
Umberto Rispoli rode Rock N Rye, who is trained by Walther Solis. The Stay Thirsty colt was bred by owner Terry Lovingier. The dark bay or brown juvenile picked up a check for $57,000 and increased his earnings to $100,920.
“My horse was very professional today,” Rispoli said. “Very mature for a 2-year-old. Once I got him to switch leads, it was all good from there.”
Finishing second in the stakes was McMahon or Rudy’s Trip to Spain and running third was Mr. T’s Thirsty, also owned by Lovingier along with his partner Templeton Horses.
Rock N Rye, the odds-on favorite, paid $3.40 and $2.20. Trip to Spain returned $2.60.
Rider Kyle Frey on Trip to Spain lodged his objection because Rock N Rye crossed over in front of him just inside the 1/8 pole. The stewards took a quick look at the replay and then stated the incident did not warrant a disqualification.
“This horse is getting better each start, and I think as he continues to mature, he’ll be able to handle longer distances,” Solis said. “I wasn’t worried at all (about a rider’s objection) because he was in the clear when he crossed over. There was no reason for the objection.”
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