DEL MAR, CA – Forgive co-owner Terry Eoff if he shed a tear or two after Terra’s Angel crossed the wire first in Monday’s $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf.
The 2-year-old filly is named for Eoff’s late daughter who passed in June after a nearly eight-year battle with cancer. Jockey Sasha Risenhoover rode Terra’s Angel to victory on debut at Lone Star Park in May shortly before her namesake died. The Texas-based jockey made two trips to Del Mar to stay aboard the filly, finishing third in the Grade 2 Sorrento before winning today.
“This is so special,” Risenhoover said. “Words can’t begin to tell. This is the most special race I’ve ever been involved in in my life. My first win in California; $100,000; I just don’t know what to say. I’ve believed in this filly since day one. Knowing the story behind her, it just put a fire in me. I wanted to win on her so much. She is so special. And so is this.”
Risenhoover smartly pulled her filly down towards the inside after breaking from post 11, stalking outside Scat Home Lady in third while the favored Medaglia Gold led through the first 3/4 of the race. Bidding three deep into the stretch to gain the lead, Terra’s Angel held on gamely under steady urging and the Dallas Keen trainee crossed the mile-long race first in a final time of 1:37.57.
“Sasha told me she wanted to be laying there close and this has been her filly from day one,” Keen said. “The filly runs good for her and it’s a good matchup. We were having kind of a rough meet other than the third in the Sorrento. This is a nice one to wind up with. We had a good meet.”
One Fast Broad, making her first career start on turf after winning a dirt sprint here on August 4, seemed to take to the grass well, rallying from last early to get second. Multiplayer overcame an awkward start to get up late for third by a head over a similarly-charing Klosters. Holy Diver, Scat Home Lady, Dawn Traveller, Unstablenthemornin, Thisoleheartofmine (making her debut), Medaglia Gold, Navajo Dreamer, Streetwithnoname, Camino Song, and Bonneville Flats completed the order of finish. Lemon Crush was scratched as an also-eligible.
The win was the first of any kind at Del Mar for both Risenhoover and Keen. The daughter of Drosselmeyer stamped herself as a major contender in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf race, which will be competed over the same conditions here at Del Mar on November 3.
Terra’s Angel returned $40 to win, $20.80 to place, and $13.20 to show. One Fast Broad brought back $31.60 to place and $14.40 to show, while Multiplayer paid $7.40 to show.