March 23, 2019

Brill heads exciting threesome in Del Mar Debutante

Bellafina winning the Sorrento Stakes (G2) at Del Mar on August 5, 2018 © BENOIT PHOTO

Brill has generated a buzz at Del Mar this summer and the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained filly will make her anticipated stakes debut in Saturday’s 68th running of the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1). She’s the one to beat in a short cast of five but will face a pair of extremely promising foes in Bellafina and Mother Mother.

All three fillies are exciting fast races at the seaside oval.

A $1 million yearling purchase by Larry Best’s OXO Equine, who also campaigns smashing Best Pal (G2) winner Instagrand, Brill trained forwardly for her first start on the July 18 opener at Del Mar and was bet down to 3-5 favoritism in a 10-horse field. The daughter of Medaglia d’Oro overcame a tardy beginning to win going away by 1 1/4 lengths, generating an excellent 99 BRIS Speed rating after completing five furlongs in :57.86, and the bay filly returns from a 45-day freshening Saturday.

Brill shows a recent five-furlong bullet work in :59 4/5 and is bred for longer distances on both sides of the pedigree. She stretches out to seven furlongs Saturday and Drayden Van Dyke has the call.

Bellafina impressively broke her maiden the second time out in the August 5 Sorrento (G2). An $800,000 two-year-old in training graduate, the Quality Road filly earned a field-best 101 Speed number for the 4 1/4-length decision and brings plenty of early zip to the mix from her outside post. Flavien Prat rides for Simon Callaghan.

Mother Mother recorded a sharp score the first time out on July 22, powering away to a 6 1/2-length romp as the 3-5 favorite, and Hall of Fame trainer and seven-time Sorrento winner Bob Baffert likes the daughter of Pioneerof the Nile. Joe Talamo will replace Van Dyke in the saddle.

Sorrento third-placer Boujie Girl and Watch Me Burn, a 7 1/2-length winner most recently over allowance/optional claiming rivals, complete the field.

Later on the 11-race program, a full field of distaffers will square off in the $200,000 John C. Mabee (G2) at 1 3/8 miles on turf. Cambodia, a 2 1/2-length winner of the August 4 Yellow Ribbon (G2) over the course, looks like a solid favorite in a title defense.