September 22, 2023

Tamara demolishes Del Mar Debutante for dam Beholder

Tamara was a class apart in the Del Mar Debutante (Photo by Horsephotos.com/Harold Roth)

The Del Mar Debutante (G1) just eluded Hall of Famer Beholder during her 2012 juvenile campaign, but now she can boast of her daughter Tamara’s stunning victory in Saturday’s $303,500 renewal.

Dispatched as the 1.30-1 favorite at Del Mar, the Spendthrift Farm homebred readily took command on the far turn and won for fun. Tamara thus sets the stage for a compelling storyline for the Breeders’ Cup: can she emulate her famous dam by winning the Juvenile Fillies (G1), for the same trainer, Hall of Famer Richard Mandella?

“She’s been doing things in her training that two-year-olds aren’t supposed to do,” Hall of Fame rider Mike Smith said. “She’s really special. She’s like her mother. You don’t see that usually. Those great mares, they normally don’t have great foals. But this one might be.

“I just held on today. I didn’t want to fall off. She was doing it all herself. What can I say. She’s very special.”

Mike Smith looks skyward aboard Tamara (Photo by Horsephotos.com/Harold Roth)

Tamara, now 2-for-2, has gotten off to a faster start than Beholder. Her precocity comes from top freshman sire Bolt d’Oro, who won his first career three outings including the 2017 Del Mar Futurity (G1).

The bay overcame a troubled start to score handsomely in her debut here Aug. 19, and she shrugged off another potential complication at the break in the Debutante. Bumping pretty solidly with a rival out of the gate, Tamara nevertheless glided forward to attend the pace.

Although Pushiness led through fast fractions of :21.85 and :44.45, Tamara was traveling exceptionally well within herself. Smith barely moved as she suddenly struck the front, and track announcer Trevor Denman called attention to the filly’s flicking ears.

The stretch run was more of a parade than a contest, for Tamara was in a league of her own. Coasting across the wire 6 3/4 lengths clear, she polished off seven furlongs in 1:22.41.

“Very exciting,” Mandella said. “I expected her to run good, but that was a little beyond. Watching it, he (Smith) had so much horse he didn’t want to restrict her. He just had her do what she wanted to do. She’s very quick, so I thought he would put her right there (up close) and we both agreed to that, just see what everybody else does.”

Laurent was best of the rest by 2 1/2 lengths from Gate to Paradise. Chatalas checked in fourth, trailed by Next Right Thing, Motet, Pushiness, Julias Dream, Benedetta, Pretty Layla, Hope Road, and Cheeky Gal. Where’s My Ring was a late scratch by the vet at the gate, while Sorrento (G3) winner Dreamfyre was withdrawn earlier in the afternoon. Dreamfyre might have offered a bit more resistance to Tamara, but the poor performance by Sorrento runner-up Benedetta casts some doubt on that hypothesis.

Tamara has bankrolled $229,200 while becoming an even more valuable possession. She is the second graded winner for Beholder, following Senorita (G3) heroine Teena Ella. Beholder’s yearling colt by Curlin topped the boutique Fasig-Tipton Saratoga Sale last month when selling for $4 million.

Beholder, by Henny Hughes, is in turn out of Broodmare of the Year Leslie’s Lady, making her a half-sister to perennial leading sire Into Mischief and promising young stallion Mendelssohn.

Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf

It was a tale of trips in the $101,500 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf, as the 3.30-1 Flattery enjoyed clear sailing to launch her rally, and 9-5 favorite Loterie was stuck in traffic.

A last-to-first debut winner over this course and one-mile trip, the Peter Eurton trainee was quick into stride this time, but Juan Hernandez gathered her up and dropped behind the fast pace. Loterie, a tad slower to organize, was switched off at the rear through the opening quarter in :21.98.

Ironically, Loterie was actually flanking the rail-skimming Flattery by the half in :46.33, until advancing into the pack through six furlongs in 1:12.46. That move ended up putting Loterie in a pocket that she could not escape in time.

Hernandez waited a tad longer on Flattery, angled wider out, and found daylight. The Flatter filly drove past the weakening pace factors and put the race away. Loterie eventually darted to the inside for a seam and reduced the gap to one length, but Flattery was firmly in command.

Angiolleta rallied for third, followed by Tambo, Cailin Dana, Auratium, Double Bay, and tailed-off early leader Bossy Bruin Gal. Arctic Breeze, Into Yellowstone, and Poppy’s Joy were scratched.

Flattery clocked 1:36.86 to advance her record to 2-for-2 with $109,200 in earnings for owners Exline-Border Racing, Burns Racing, Aaron Kennedy, and Richard Hausman. The $180,000 Keeneland September yearling was bred in Kentucky by Machmer Hall and Carrie and Craig Brogden.

Out of Meadowlands course record-setter Mystic Miracle, Flattery is a half-sister to multiple New York-bred stakes-placed Wegetsdamunnys. Mystic Miracle is a daughter of Unbridled’s Song and multiple Grade 2-winning millionaire Mystic Lady, who is herself out of a full sister to Fourstars Allstar and Saratoga legend Fourstardave.

John C. Mabee (G2)

Loterie’s rider, Umberto Rispoli, bounced right back aboard 7-5 favorite Closing Remarks in the $250,500 John C. Mabee (G2). Trained by Carla Gaines, the Harris Farms homebred completed a graded double at the meet after the Aug. 12 Yellow Ribbon H. (G2).

Closing Remarks cut it closer in the Yellow Ribbon, prevailing by a neck, but padded her margin to 1 3/4 lengths in the Mabee. The Vronsky mare settled in the final tandem, alongside Paris Peacock, as the modest pace scenario unfolded.

After Free and Humble waltzed on the lead through :24.12, Turnerloose scampered forward to take over. The tempo remained modest, however, in splits of :48.22 and 1:12.61. Turnerloose tried to pull away entering the stretch, but Closing Remarks was rapidly building up steam for Rispoli. The favorite asserted convincingly in a final time of 1:48.23 for 1 1/8 miles.

“I was a bit nervous to be honest,” Gaines said, “because it was such a slow pace and she was a bit farther back than I expected her to be. But Umberto said ‘Don’t worry about it, just give me the key,’ so that’s what I did.”

Turnerloose held second by a head from the closing Paris Peacock. Oakhurst, who briefly threatened to make things interesting on the inside, flattened out in fourth. Next came Neige Blanche and Free and Humble.

Closing Remarks has compiled a mark of 22-6-5-4, $861,320. The Cal-bred had been a graded bridesmaid for most of her career, finally breaking through in the April 1 Royal Heroine (G2). Her resume includes a score in the 2021 California Cup Oaks and nine stakes placings, chief among them the Del Mar Oaks (G1) and the past two runnings of the Buena Vista (G2).

The five-year-old mare was produced by Orange Cove, who carries the Rasmussen Factor of inbreeding to a superior female. Orange Cove is a daughter of Unusual Heat and Aspen Gal, both sporting blue hen Thong in their ancestry.

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