DEL MAR, CA – More than one maiden was broken on Monday when trainer James Stack’s Yesterdayoncemore led an Irish-bred trio across the wire for her first career win – and Stack’s first American stakes triumph – in the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes.
Breaking from post 9 under Victor Espinoza at 11/1 odds, Yesterdayoncemore settled into a close stalking position within striking range of the leader as the field passed the judges for the first time. Up front, the 6/5 favorite Shedaresthedevil posted opening fractions of :23.24, :48.27, and 1:12.02.
Midway down the backstretch, Espinoza guided Yesterdayoncemore over to the rail, where she waited until given her cue. That signal came midway through the far turn, when Espinoza tipped her off the rail and up along the pacesetting bettors’ choice.
Set down for the stretch drive with nothing but green grass ahead, Yesterdayoncemore kicked home strongly and crossed a length clear in a final time of 1:35.67 for the mile event over the firm turf course.
“They said in a perfect world, if you can sit 3 or 4 lengths back, cover her up and then make a late run,” said Espinoza, whose 101st stakes score at Del Mar puts him third all-time. “It worked out just that way. She’s built strong and I thought she’d love this turf. Sure enough, I was just going to play it with her off the break, and she broke great. This kind of horse will pretty much take you there. She did today. This has been a very good meet for me. I’m very pleased. I really couldn’t have asked for more.”
Croughavouke unleashed a furious rally in the stretch but wasn’t strong enough to catch the winner. Applecross took third over a weakening Shedaresthedevil, while fifth went to Overjoyed, who was making her racing debut. Awesome Drive, Convoluted, Warren’s Showtime, Flamigo Bay, Text Dont Call, and Acai completed the order of finish. A Thousand Dreams and Mean Sophia were scratched.
Yesterdayoncemore’s win improved her record to 6-1-2-0, with her five prior starts occuring overseas. The 2-year-old daughter of No Nay Never, whose first-place check was worth $60,000, has now earned $69,871 in her young career.
“She did it well,” Stack said. “She looked the part at home and for the better part of two weeks we’ve been here. Victor gave her a good ride and it worked out well. She’ll stay here and she’s got plenty of options now. We were looking at Flavien (Prat aboard Shedaresthedevil) and Florent (Geroux aboard Applecross), but they were taken and Victor was open. He’s won a Triple Crown, which is a heck of a lot more than I’ve done.”
Yesterdayoncemore returned $24 to win, $10.20 to place, and $7 to show. Croughavouke brought back $6.40 to place and $4.40 to show, while Applecross paid $5.60 to show.