Executiveprivilege winning Sorrrento Stakes (Courtesy of Benoit & Associates)
Executivepriviliege has taken little more than a deep breath as the odds-on favorite through a trio of clear wins to begin her career. That could change in Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Debutante Stakes (G1) at seven furlongs on the Polytrack surface with four suitable challengers taking a crack at dethroning the current leader of the 2-year-old filly division in California.
Having already earned nearly a third of her $650,000 purchase price, the First Samurai filly won the Sorrento Stakes (G3) on August 8 in her debut on the Del Mar main track and is listed as the 4-to-5 morning-line favorite to give trainer Bob Baffert his seventh win in the Debutante, which would leave him two behind D. Wayne Lukas.
It could also be a milestone triumph for jockey Rafael Bejarano, who depending on his result in Friday’s El Cajon Stakes will either be looking to tie or break the record of 12 stakes wins at a Del Mar meet.
Bejarano notched his first Debutante win last year with Weemissfrankie.
The second choice all the way in the outside post at 5-to-1 is Beholder, who rebounded after debuting in the wake of Executiveprivilege by scoring an impressive maiden-breaking victory at Del Mar on July 22.
The daughter of Henny Hughes looks to give each of her connections their second Debutante triumph, with trainer Richard Mandella winning with Halfbridled in 2003, jockey Garrett Gomez in 2000 with Cindy’s Hero and owner Spendthrift Farm in 1985 with Arewehavingfunyet.
Heir Kitty opted to duck Executiveprivilege in the Sorrento, instead taking on the boys in the Best Pal Stakes (G2) and missing by just a half-length in a runner-up finish. Back against her own gender, the Wildcat Heir filly is the 6-to-1 co-third choice for trainer Peter Miller, who will need to hold off Baffert and John Sadler over the final few days of the meet to secure his first training title at Del Mar.
Miller, who won the 2007 Debutante with Set Play, also sends Speedinthruthecity, the runner-up behind Executiveprivilege in both the Sorrento and Landaluce Stakes at Hollywood Park on July 14. Despite closing the margin of defeat by two lengths from the Landaluce to the Sorrento, the City Zip filly is dismissed at 12-to-1 on the morning line.
City Zip also is the sire of Mechaya, the other 6-to-1 shot that enters off a smashing debut victory at Del Mar on August 10 that earned her a field-high 93 Beyer Speed Figure. With Bejarano sticking on the favorite, Sadler lands Martin Garcia in search of his second Debutante win in three years after scoring with Tell a Kelly in 2010.
The Debutante goes as the ninth race on an 11-race Del Mar card with post time slated for 6:00 p.m. PDT and can be seen live on TVG.
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$300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1)
Saturday, Del Mar, Race 9, 6 p.m. PDT
2-year-old fillies, 7 Furlongs, All-Weather Track
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Heir Kitty (FL), C.S. Nakatani, 118, P Miller
2. Pat's Back (FL), P.A. Valenzuela, 118, M Pender
3. Miss Empire (KY), K. Krigger, 122, P Miller
4. Speedinthruthecity (KY), J. Talamo, 118, P Miller
5. Wasted At Midnight (FL), R. Jaime, 116, A Barba
6. Mechaya (ON), M. Garcia, 118, J W Sadler
7. Renee's Titan (KY), E.A. Maldonado, 116, L Mora
8. Executiveprivilege (KY), R. Bejarano, 122, B Baffert
9. Beholder (KY), G.K. Gomez, 118, R E Mandella