Red King Gives Red-Hot D’Amato Sixth Del Mar Handicap Victory In Seven Years

The victory by Red King in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Del Mar Handicap brought attention to the rise of Phil D’Amato in the Del Mar trainer standings and the increased success of his stable after a chilly start.

At the delayed start of the second week of the meeting, Friday, July 31, D’Amato runners had two wins in 23 starts. Subsequent start-the-weekend numbers were: 3-for-29 on August 7, 7-for-43 on August 14 and 11 for  51 last Friday.

With one win Friday and two Saturday – the D’Amato/Umberto Rispoli combination followed up the Handicap victory with Salvator Mundi ($11.20) in the 11th  race nightcap – D’Amato now has 14 wins from 60 starters and only trails Peter Miller by one on the leaderboard.

“Things have been clicking well the second half of the meet,” D’Amato said via text. “All those horses that finished second and third at the beginning of the meet have been able to come back and win. That really helps.

“Also, the ability to breeze turf horses on the turf here at Del Mar has really helped. I think it keeps the grass horses happier and they perform better in their races.”

Red King, a 6-year-old son of English Channel bred by Calumet Farm and owned by Little Red Feather Racing, had five works on the Del Mar turf leading up to his first start since a June 21 victory in the San Juan Capistrano at Santa Anita.

Given a masterful ride by Rispoli, Red King was able to pull off a $10.60 upset of heavy favorite United. The Handicap, sponsored by the Japan Racing Association, is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Turf in November at Keeneland.

D’Amato has now won the last four editions of the Del Mar Handicap and six of the last seven. After back-to-back victories in 2014-’15 with Big John B, D’Amato won with Hunt in 2017, Fashion Business in 2018 and Acclimate in 2019.

The post Red King Gives Red-Hot D’Amato Sixth Del Mar Handicap Victory In Seven Years appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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