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Celtic New Year Takes Del Mar Handicap

Del Mar logo

Michael Jawl’s Celtic New Year, lightly-weighted at 114 pounds under jockey Victor Espinoza, fought off the stretch challenge of Bourbon Bay, the 121 pound highweight and 3-5 favorite, to win the 72nd running of the Grade II $200,000 Del Mar Handicap Sunday, the day of the $1 million Pacific Classic.

Celtic New Year, sent to the gate at 9-2 in the field of six older Thoroughbreds, displayed his determination in winning by a head over Bourbon Bay, piloted by Joe Talamo. Third, only a head farther back, was the fast-closing Imponente Purse, with Chantal Sutherland aboard.

Celtic New Year, a four-year-old Kentuicky-bred gelding by North Light trained by John Sadler, ran the mile and three-eighths over the infield grass course in 2:14.92 and returned $11, $4.20 and $2.80. It was his fifth win in 17 starts and first money of $120,000 increased his career bankroll to $294,422.

Additionally, the Del Mar Handicap is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” program whereby the winner is entitled to automatic entry in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, a waiver of pre-entry and entry fees, a value of $90,000, and a travel stipend of $10,000.

Bourbon Bay, winner of the Cougar II Handicap earlier this summer, turned in another game effort to be second, paying $2.60 and $2.10, while third place Imponente Purse paid $2.80 to show. Make Music for Me was fourth.



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