July 20, 2018

Destin stalks and pounces his way to Marathon victory

Destin (left) outstayed his seven rivals in the Marathon (G2) over 1 3/4 miles (Wendy Wooley/EquiSport Photos)

Destin might have endured a tough beat in the 2016 Belmont S. (G1), but that bit of class and positive experience going long undoubtedly helped the gray son of Giant’s Causeway reach the winner’s circle after Friday’s $201,035 Marathon (G2) on the Breeders’ Cup undercard at Del Mar.

A tracking second behind pacesetter Infobedad for more than 1 1/2 miles, Destin poked his head in front of that rival at the eighth pole and drew off to win by 1 1/4 lengths under John Velazquez.

“It went according to plan,” Velazquez said. “We didn’t think there was a lot of speed in the race. We thought we could sit up close. It came off just the way we wanted.”

Owned by Twin Creeks Racing Stables and Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, Destin is trained by Todd Pletcher. The 2-1 second choice in a field of eight, Destin paid $6. He covered 1 3/4 miles over a fast track in 2:57.77, just off the the track mark of 2:57.40 set by Lurline B. way back in 1949.

Infobedad, a 24-1 chance, easily held second by 4 3/4 lengths over 9-5 favorite Hard Aces, who flattened out after bidding into contention around the far turn. The order of finish was rounded out by Noble Nick, Estrechada, Ground Rules, Archanova, and Dressed in Hermes.

Winner of the Tampa Bay Derby (G2) and Sam F. Davis (G3) last season, the Kentucky-bred lost the Belmont by a nose to Creator and later ran third in the Jim Dandy (G2). The $400,000 Keeneland September buy was one-for-three this season heading into the Marathon and has now earned $938,000 from a line of 13-5-2-2.

Belvoir Bay captures Senator Ken Maddy

Breeders’ Cup Day 1 concluded with Belvoir Bay rallying inside of narrow favorite Vigor to take the $151,725 Senator Ken Maddy (G3) by 1 1/4 lengths under Flavien Prat.

Winner of the Torrey Pines (G3) over Del Mar’s main track last year and a two-time grass stakes winner at Santa Anita, Belvoir Bay displayed her versatility here by taking the five-furlong, firm turf dash in :56.63. The 3-1 second choice, she paid $8.80.

Vigor, making her stakes debut, made an impressive bid to the lead approaching the eighth pole but was worn down and finished 2 1/4 lengths in front of Instant Reflex. Little Jude, Long Hot Summer, Snack Shack, Paquita Coqueta, Street Surrender, What a Ten, and So Sweetitiz completed the order of finish.

Owned by Team Valor and Gary Barber, the Peter Miller-trained daughter of Equiano has now earned $330,016 from a line of 16-6-3-2.

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