‘Epitome Of Class’: Elm Drive Holds Off Eda To Win Del Mar’s Sorrento Stakes

Little Red Feather Racing’s Elm Drive dug in the length of the stretch and gamely held off Baoma Corp’s Eda by a head in a dandy horse race that decided the winner of the 53rd edition of the Sorrento Stakes Friday at Del Mar.

The Grade 2 headliner at the seaside oval north of San Diego, Calif., went with a purse of $201,500 and Elm Drive came away with the winner’s share of $120,000. She was ridden by Juan Hernandez and was saddled by Phil D’Amato.

Finishing third was King, Kirby or Kirby’s Smash Ticket, the unlucky race favorite at 13-10 who broke badly, then ran into traffic trouble on the backside.

Elm Drive, a bay daughter of Mohaymen, is now two-for-two in her brief career after having easily captured her initial start in a straight maiden race at Los Alamitos on June 28. Her earnings rose to $147,000.

The winning time was 1:10.64 for the six furlongs.

Elm Drive paid $6.60, $3.80 and $2.20 across the board. Eda returned $3.20 and $2.20, while Smash Tickets paid $2.10.

The Sorrento is considered the key prep for the track’s biggest race for juvenile fillies, the Grade 1, $300,000 TVG Del Mar Debutante, which will be contested at seven furlongs on Sunday, Sept. 5. Trainer D’Amato indicated that that race is the next target for Elm Drive.

The track’s ever-growing Pick 6 Jackpot wager once more expanded when for the 10th straight day as no player was able to take down the entire pool as the single winner. The carryover into Saturday’s program grew to $831,517.  First post on Saturday’s 11-race card will be at 2 p.m.

Post-race quotes:
JUAN GONZALEZ (Elm Drive, winner) –
“Phil (trainer D’Amato) didn’t give me any special instructions. He just said play the break and put her in a good spot. She broke well and I had her where I wanted her. When we turned for home and the other filly (Eda) came up outside us, my filly got real brave. She dug in. She’s not afraid to fight. She’s a good one.”

PHIL D’AMATO (Elm Drive, winner) – “She broke on top then Juan got her to rate, make a move and fight off a rival to her outside the length of the stretch. I just thought that’s the epitome of class. Very professional, and I think she’s the type of filly that the longer (the races) the better. (Debutante?) Yup, absolutely.”

FRACTIONS:  :22.00  :46.00  :57.95  1:10.64

The stakes win was the third of the meeting for rider Hernandez, but his first in the Sorrento. He now has 10 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer D’Amato, but his second in the Sorrento (Spectator, 2017). He now has 30 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners are Little Red Feather Racing overseen by Billy Koch of Woodland Hills, CA.

The post ‘Epitome Of Class’: Elm Drive Holds Off Eda To Win Del Mar’s Sorrento Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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