Veteran stakes campaigner Bourbon Bay convincingly dispelled the
notion that he is strictly a grass performer Friday with a decisive
victory in the featured $125,000 Cougar II Handicap under jockey Joe
Competing over a synthetic surface for only the second time in a
career of 20 starts, 18 of them over grass, Bourbon Bay pulled away in
the srretch to win by 2 ¾ lengths, setting a track record of 2:29.39 for
the mile and one-half over Del Mar’s Polytrack surface.
The previous mark of 2:30.46 was set by Temple City, also under Talamo, in the 2010 renewal of the Cougar II.
Bourbon Bay, a five-year-old son of Sligo Bay owned by David and Jill
Heerensberger and trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, went postward
the 2-1 second choice and paid $6.60, $4 and $2.80 while earning a
prize of $75,000 with his seventh career success.
New Zealand-bred Dahoud, piloted by Joel Rosario, set the pace in the
marathon and held on well in the stretch to be runner-up, 1 ½ lengths
in front of Setsuko, the 3-2 favorite who shaded Times Gone By by a head
for third money.
Bourbon Bay provided Talamo with his second win of the afternoon and
tenth of the season as he moved into a tie with Rafael Bejarano atop the
Martin Pedroza enjoyed his best day of the meeting with a consecutive triple, sweeping the third, fourth and fifth races.