DEL MAR, CA – Red Baron’s Barn and Rancho Temescal’s Tatters to Riches made his move at the top of the stretch and cleared away late to win Saturday’s $100,000 Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar.
Breaking smartly from the far outside post 5 as the 6/5 favorite under Tyler Baze, Tatters to Riches sat just off of early leader Afleet Ascent through opening splits of :23.49, :47.58, and 1:12.11. Pulling up alongside the pacesetter in the far turn, Tatters to Riches drew off as soon as he straightened for home and ran through well to the wire without being asked for his best. The Jeff Mullins trainee crossed with a growing 3 3/4-length lead in a final time of 1:36.94 for the mile-long main track event.
“Felt good; felt real good,” Baze said. “He broke sharp and put me right where I wanted to be. So much credit to Jeff and the guys at the barn. They’ve spent a lot of time getting this horse right. Now he’s a dream. I hope he keeps on going and becomes a real dream horse. He could.”
While no match for the winner, Afleet Ascent was much the best of the rest, taking second by 3 3/4 lengths over Shivermetimbers. The world-traveling Yulong Warrior, making his first stateside start for new trainer Doug O’Neill, was never a factor and outran only Cool Bobby to complete the order of finish.
Tatters to Riches’ triumph was his second of 2018 following a strong run here on August 4 in an allowance race and improved his record to 4-3-0-0 with earnings of $133,545. The 3-year-old son of Union Rags (who also sired Catalina Cruiser, winner of the card’s headlining Grade 2 Pat O’Brien Stakes) was purchased for $1 million as a 2-year-old and seemed poised for big things, but an ankle chip found after his lone career loss (last September’s Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity) forced him to miss almost a year.
“He’s a big, long-striding horse, and we always knew that sprinting wasn’t going to be his game and two turns would be better for him,” Mullins said. “But we were excited about this race. I wish we would have had more time (between races), but it didn’t work out that way. It’s a feeling of accomplishment and relief, both. A horse coming off that long a layoff and running twice in 23 days is a little worrisome. But hopefully he comes out of it OK and we can map out his next spot.”
Tatters to Riches returned $4.40 to win, $3 to place, and $2.10 to show. Afleet Ascent brought back $5 to place and $2.80 to show, while Shivermetimbers paid $2.20 to show.