DEL MAR, CA – Returning to Del Mar for the first time since being claimed by her current owners for $40,000 last August, Skye Diamonds continued her hot streak on Sunday, claiming the Grade 3, $100,000 Rancho Bernardo Handicap.
Sent off at post as the even-money favorite, Skye Diamonds sat just off the rail under Tiago Pereira and stalked the pace set by Rockport Babe down the back and through the far turn. Splitting between Rockport Babe and Constellation off of the far turn, Skye Diamonds fought off a determined run from Constellation to take the 6 1/2-furlong main track event in 1:15.95.
“We had to look for a good spot to position her, but I felt confident all the way around,” Pereira said. “When I asked her to run in the lane, she was there. She’s a nice one and she ran really well today.”
Bendable bobbled at the start and was never able to seriously contend, but she did prove herself to be the best of the rest, taking third ahead of Munny Spunt and Rockport Babe.
The 4-year-old filly won her second straight graded stakes race in as many tries, taking the Grade 2 Great Lady M last out at Los Alamitos. In the 12 months since joining Bill Spawr’s stable, she’s never finished worse than second, posting a record of 8-6-2-0.
“She’s amazing,” said Spawr. “She just wants to win. Wants to beat you. She overcomes things. And these are good fillies she’s running against.”
Skye Diamonds returned $3.60 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.10 to show. Constellation brought back $3 to place and $2.20 to show, while Bendable paid $2.10 to show.