Brown puts one on board for East Coast at Del Mar
Ortiz survives inquiry as Orglandes wins Gr. III Red Carpet
Round one of Del Mar’s turf stakes weekend has gone to the Eastern invaders.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. rallied 6-5 favorite Orglandes from sixth at the top of the stretch Thursday to defeat Going to Vegas by a half length — then survived an inquiry — to win the Grade III Red Carpet Stakes at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
The 13/8-mile Red Carpet for older fillies and mares was the first of seven turf stakes spread over the final four days of Del Mar’s seventh fall meeting.
The 4-year-old, French-bred Orglandes was one of eight horses flown in from the East by trainer Chad C. Brown to contest for the $1.1 million available in the seven stakes races.
Nine trainers have flown in 19 horses from Eastern tracks to take on the Del Mar colony for a weekend that is capped by two $300,000 Grade I stakes — Saturday’s Hollywood Derby (11/8 miles for 3-year-olds) and Sunday’s Matriarch Stakes (a mile for older fillies and mares).
Brown has entries in five of the weekend’s stakes races — including Domestic Spending in the Hollywood Derby and the trio of Blowout, Viadera and Tamahere in the Matriarch Stakes.
Also remaining on the schedule are today’s Grade II Hollywood Turf Cup (11/2 miles for older horses); Saturday’s Grade II Seabiscuit Handicap (11/16 miles for older horses) and the Grade III Jimmy Durante Stakes (a mile for 2-year-old fillies), and Sunday’s Grade III Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (a mile for 2-year-olds).
Brown has the morning-line favorites in Saturday’s two supporting stakes — Fluffy Socks in the Durante and Flavius in the Seabiscuit. Both races have listed fields of 13. Brown does not have an entrant in today’s Hollywood Turf Cup and Sunday’s DeMille.
Orglandes, who paid $4.20 to win, was the 164th winner saddled by Brown this year out of 692 starters. Brown ranks fourth among all trainers in earnings in 2020 with $15.4 million.
Orglandes broke in and bumped Colonial Creed leaving the starting gate of the $100,000 Red Carpet and was in the middle of the tightly bunched field for most of the race until surging in the stretch.
“I had no special instructions ... just ride her,” said Ortiz, who is headed to being the sport’s top-earning jockey for a third straight year.
“I liked where I was throughout the race. We thought this would be a better distance for her. The last time out (in allowance win at Belmont Park) it was too short (nine furlongs) for her. She got ‘racy’ on me, but she did well with this distance.”
“I wasn’t really worried about the inquiry,” said Jose Hernandez, the assistant trainer to Brown. “There was a little bump, but nothing serious.
“Chad talked to Irad in the morning. He said just to break and play off it. It’s a long race, so the jockey can do what he feels. The pace was good and he was in really good position, then made a strong finish.”
Long shot Going to Vegas (15-1) finished second in a second straight Grade III stakes race under Mario Gutierrez.
She ran second throughout the first mile behind Aunt Lubie before taking over the lead at the top of the stretch.
Trainer Phil D’Amato has four horses — or a third of the field — entered in today’s feature, the 1½-mile Hollywood Turf Cup. D’Amato’s quartet is led by the winners of the past two, 13/8-mile Del Mar Handicaps — Red King (2020) and Acclimate (2019). Other D’Amato entries are Gregorian Chant and Say the Word.
Racing Secretary David Jerkens has called Saturday’s program “the best at Del Mar in years.”
In addition to the three stakes races, Del Mar will be hosting the annual Del Mar Fall Challenge handicapping tournament (which has maxed out at 100 entries). And the average field entered for Saturday’s program is just over 10 horses.
Apprentice Jessica Pyfer won her third race of the meeting in Thursday’s opener on Govenor’s Party when 8-5 favorite Papale (Flavien Prat) was disqualified and placed second after crossing the wire first. Papale barged inside of Govenor’s Party entering the stretch and forced Pyfer, who reached the finish line second, to alter course.
Center is a freelance writer.
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