Jockey Rafael Bejarano, beaten for the Del Mar riding title by
archrival Joel Rosario in the final race of the 2010 summer season,
obviously is a man on a mission this year.
The 29-year-old native of Peru booted in three winners today,
including a sweep of the featured stakes – aboard 8-5 favored Norvsky in
the $100,000 California Dreamin’ Handicap and on 11-1 longshot Up In
Time in the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap.
Both victories were accomplished over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course in almost identical come-from-behind fashion.
Norvsky, a stablemate of Saturday’s Eddie Read Stakes winner
Acclamation from the barn of trainer Don Warren, rallied from
next-to-last in a field of seven older California-bred horses to win by 1
1/2 lengths in 1:40.96 for the mile and one-sixteenth.
Tamarack Smarty was second, with Lucky Primo third.
Norvsky, a son of Vronsky owned by E.W. (Bud) and Judy Johnston and
Robert Riggio, earned a prize of $60,000 with his fourth win in 13
starts and returned $5.40 to his backers.
The margin of victory was identical in the San Clemente Handicap – 1
1/4 lengths – as Up In Time darted into the clear between horses at the
top of the stretch, overhauling pacemaking Mizdirection in deep stretch
and then drawing away. Celestial Kitten was third.
Up In Time ran the mile in 1:34.66 and paid $25.40, $9.60 and $6.40
across the board after her third win in eight starts. First money of
$90,000 increased the Noverre filly’s career earnings to $138,576. The
filly is owned by Anthony Ramsden of London, England and conditioned by
Mizdirection paid $4.20 and $3.60, while Celestial Kitten paid $5 to show.
The San Clemente Handicap is a steppingstone to the championship race
of the season for three-year-old fillies, the $250,000 Del Mar Oaks on
Through the first five days of the current meet, Bejarano has nine winners to be atop the jockey standings.
Because there were no perfect tickets in Sunday’s Pick Six, there
will be a carryover of $239,490 for Wednesday’s eight-race program which
begins at 2 p.m.
Today’s attendance was 23,642.