He Be Fire N Ice rumbled down the stretch to nip a stubborn Rock Me Baby in Sunday's California Dreamin' Handicap at Del Mar.
The Del Mar turf course has been favoring patient runners and the California Dreamin' set up for off the pace types following solid fractions of :23.88, :47.81, and 1:11.43.
Rock Me Baby sat a comfortable stalking trip under Edwin Maldonado and was the first to attrack the early runners but He Be Fire N Ice was gaining momentum and got his head down on the wire.
Starspangled Heat, making his first start since April, rallied late to grab show dough.
California Dreamin Quotes & Notes:
VICTOR ESPINOZA (He Be Fire N Ice, winner) – “He’s a
really competitive horse. He’s right there when it comes to a fight.
He’s one of those horses that just loves to run. You can feel it on him.
He ran his race today and we got it done.”
EDWIN MALDONADO (Rock Me Baby, second) – “We were in
the right spot. Had a perfect trip and we were right there. I felt
good. But he did it again. He hung. The last two races he’s hung. It is
COREY NAKATANI (Starspangled Heat, third) – “Had a
great trip. And he put in a good late run. Victor (Espinoza on He Be
Fire N Ice) came around me and ran faster. It was his day.”
JOHN SADLER (He Be Fire N Ice, winner) -- “I
thought there was a lot of speed in here. If you look, Compari wants the
lead, Summer Hit wants the lead, Lucky Primo. So our strategy was
pretty simple. Sit back and make a run. And this horse has been very
good ever since I put him on the grass at Santa Anita. I’d like to run
him twice here, so we’ll look for an overnight stake or something."
The stakes win was the first in the California Dreamin’ for Espinoza,
as well as his first of the meet. He now has 74 stakes wins at Del Mar,
eighth best all time.
The stakes win was the first in the California Dreamin’ for Sadler
and his second of the meet. He now has 44 Del Mar stakes wins, seventh
best all time.
He Be Fire N Ice is owned by Cicero Farms, which is the nom du course of Barbara Ranck Perry of Berkeley, CA.