Downhill Diva, the longest shot in a field of fillies and mares at
8-1, drew off impressively in the stretch under regular rider Brice
Blanc to win Thursday’s feature at Del Mar, the $70,000 American
Downhill Diva stalked the pace of Pure Class until the head of the
stretch, took the lead entering the home lane, resisted the bids of
even-money favored Awesomemundo and Toro Bonito and pulled away in the
final furlong to win by 5 ¼ lengths.
Toro Bonito edged out her three-year-old stablemate from the Bob
Baffert barn, Awesomemundo, by a half-length for second money, with
Elvies Lane fourth in the field of six. Catchy Tune lost her chance when
she stumbled badly at the break under Mike Smith.
Downhill Diva, owned by the partnership of Andrea Warner of Fast Lane
Farms, Patricia Honore and James Morrow and trained by Patricia
Harrington, sped the one-mile over Del Mar’s Polytrack surface in a fast
1:35.42, narrowly missing Albertus Maximus’ track record of 1:35.37 set
The winner, a four-year-old daughter of Swiss Yodeler, was scoring
her fifth triumph in 16 starts and first money of $54,600 increased the
filly’s earnings to $193,422.
To her backers in the crowd of 10,212, she returned $19, $7.80 and
$3.80. Toro Bonito paid $7.20 and $3, while Awesomemundo paid $2.40 to
Mike Mitchell moved to within two winners of tying Hall of Famer Ron
McAnally as Del Mar’s all-time winningest trainer as he send out favored
Lordgivemealift to take the fourth race Thursday. The tally is
McAnally, 436; Mitchell, 434.