Favorites were overturned in all three stakes at Del Mar Saturday, with the biggest upset furnished by the 10.90-1 Beyond Brilliant in the $404,500 Hollywood Derby (G1).
Hollywood Derby (G1)
After Beyond Brilliant’s third to Subconscious and Cathkin Peak in the Oct. 31 Twilight Derby (G2), Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux figured out what the colt really wanted. Instead of being restrained into a stalking spot, Beyond Brilliant was best served by rolling along to his own tempo. Case in point was his front-running allowance score here on Sept. 6.
Desormeaux accordingly put Beyond Brilliant on the lead in the Hollywood Derby, and the John Shirreffs trainee turned the tables. Able to take control from post 2 through a moderate :23.96 opener, Beyond Brilliant got away with tepid fractions of :49.23 and 1:13.62 on the firm turf. Hence he had more than enough left to spurt clear into the stretch, firing a :23.34 sectional to reach the mile in 1:36.96.
The 17.70-1 Santin was the only rival to make a race of it inside the final furlong. The Godolphin blueblood quickened from midpack to reduce the deficit, and his late lunge fell just a neck short in an excellent stakes debut.
Cathkin Peak ran an even third, salvaging the show spot by a head from 1.90-1 favorite Public Sector. Next came Subconscious, Zoffarelli, Flashiest, Sifting Sands, Hudson Ridge, Camp Hope, It Can Be Done, Dicey Mo Chara, early pace tracker Team Merchants, and In Effect. Also-eligible Airman was withdrawn.
C R K Stable’s Beyond Brilliant clocked 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.84 and returned $23.80. The son of Twirling Candy has some of his sire’s surface versatility, having broken his maiden in a romp on the Santa Anita dirt. But he’s set a higher, and more consistent, standard on turf, and his scorecard stands at 9-3-2-2, $381,280.
Beyond Brilliant was bred by Fred W. Hertrich III, John D. Fielding, and Robert L. Tribbett in Kentucky. After RNA’ing for $50,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, he brought $200,000 as a two-year-old at Fasig Tipton Midlantic’s May Sale. His dam, the First Defence mare Summer on the Lawn, is a half-sister to Grade 2 victress Summer Applause.
Seabiscuit H. (G2)
Three Diamonds Farm’s Field Pass was just nailed by Sacred Life in the Oct. 10 Knickerbocker (G3) at Belmont Park, but gained revenge in their West Coast rematch in the $251,000 Seabiscuit H. (G2). Under an inspired midrace move by Umberto Rispoli, the Mike Maker trainee got the jump on Sacred Life and fended that 9-10 favorite off by a desperate head.
Field Pass, the 3.50-1 third choice, initially was held up as many as 5 1/2 lengths back. Pacesetting Lambeau, who scrambled to the front after stumbling at the start, rattled off an opening quarter in :23.77.
But as Lambeau dialed it back through the half in :48.19, Rispoli sensed that his position would become unfavorable, and he gave Field Pass his cue to advance. The tracking Bob and Jackie also moved to engage the leader. Field Pass overtook them both down the backstretch, but Bob and Jackie proved more stubborn than the rapidly weakening Lambeau.
Putting away Bob and Jackie after six furlongs in 1:12.26, Field Pass established a 1 1/2-length advantage by midstretch. The gray needed almost every yard of that when Sacred Life came calling. Although the favorite drew up to his throat-latch, Field Pass held on grimly to finish 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.85.
Sacred Life, an unlucky runner-up in the 2019 Seabiscuit, had to settle for second again. Indian Peak was another three-quarters of a length back in third, followed by Majestic Eagle, Flop Shot, Bob and Jackie, and the eased Lambeau.
“I didn’t want to stop the stride of my horse,” Rispoli recapped. “He was running happy and I was happy, too. He fought hard late and we got there first.”
Assistant trainer Nolan Ramsey noted that Rispoli has executed that early maneuver before.
“He made that move yesterday (winning) on Red Storm Risen and they went :48 to the half, so I figured clearly he knew more than I did,” Ramsey said. “He’s one of those horses that once you make the move there’s no turning back. He’s a classy horse who has gotten the job done in a lot of places and I’m very proud of him.”
Field Pass was earning his seventh stakes victory, including last year’s Jeff Ruby Steaks (G3) and Ontario Derby (G3) on all-weather surfaces. On turf, the son of Lemon Drop Kid captured the 2020 Transylvania (G3), Dania Beach S., and Audubon S. as well as the July 24 Baltimore/Washington International Turf Cup (G3). His resume of 23-8-3-3, $913,143, also reflects a handful of stakes placings, most notably last term’s American Turf (G2) and Twilight Derby.
Bred by Mark Brown Grier in Maryland, Field Pass sold for $37,000 as a yearling at Fasig-Tipton Midlantic October. He gets his coat color from his dam, the Runaway Groom mare Only Me, who is also responsible for Pennsylvania-bred stakes scorer You Must Chill.
Jimmy Durante (G3)
Peter Miller, who is taking a hiatus from training once Del Mar’s meet ends Sunday, got a going-away present courtesy of Tezzaray in the $103,000 Jimmy Durante S. (G3). The best-fancied of Miller’s trio of juvenile fillies at 3.10-1, the British import forced her nose in front on the line to go 2-for-2 stateside.
Tezzaray, a recent maiden winner over this course and one-mile distance, was given a ground-saving ride by Irad Ortiz. Reserved within striking range early, Tezzaray observed stablemate Liam’s Dove set splits of :23.41, :48.52, and 1:13.32. Liam’s Dove continued to lead well into the stretch, until succumbing late.
The stalking Awake at Midnyte appeared to make the winning move at that point, only to have Tezzaray surge at the last instant to prevail in 1:37.56. Toeris likewise improved into a close third, while the 2.10-1 favorite, Helens Well, was a wide-rallying fourth.
Liam’s Dove was relegated to fifth, one spot ahead of stablemate Travel Smart. Virulente, Miss Bellatrix, Half Past Twelve, Sparkle Blue, and Reem Zabeel concluded the order of finish.
“I had confidence in her,” Miller said of Tezzaray. “She’s one of those fillies that are very classy and does everything right. I thought we won, then I thought we didn’t, but luckily we got the head bob. I thought all three of my fillies ran very well and all got great rides. Irad had a really clean trip, and once he got her in the clear, she really kicked home.”
“I had a good trip,” Ortiz said. “I was in a little tight at the three-eighth pole, but that wasn’t anything big. She’s a very European filly; she likes to run covered up. When it came time to run – boom – she went.”
Owned by Slam Dunk Racing and Roger H. Newman, Tezzaray sports a mark of 4-2-0-2, $104,998. Her third-place efforts came in maidens at Newmarket and Carlisle for original trainer Karl Burke, who acquired her for £22,000 at the Goffs Premier Yearling Sale.
Tezzaray was bred in Great Britain by Lady Richard Wellesley. The chestnut is by Bated Breath and out of Amber Queen, a Cadeaux Genereux half to Group 1-winning stakes producer Spinning Queen.