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Include Me Out Holds Off Star Billing in Hirsch

Jay Em Ess Stable’s Include Me Out, with Joe Talamo in the saddle, made amends for her upset defeat in the Vanity Handicap at odds-on in mid-June with a hard-earned victory in Saturday’s featured Grade I $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes for older fillies and mares.

Given a well-timed ride by regular pilot Talamo, Include Me Out went to the lead in the upper stretch and then was forced to go all-out to hold off the late charge of Star Billing and Rafael Bejarano, winning by a neck in fast 1:41.96 for the mile and one-sixteenth over the main track.

Amani, making her American debut after winning ten of 11 races in her native Chile, closed stoutly from last place to be a flying third, 1 ½ lengths behind the runner-up and three-quarters of a length in front of fourth-place Switch who set the pace until displaced by Include Me Out in early stretch.

Include Me Out, a four-year-old daughter of  Include conditioned by Ron Ellis, not only earned first prize of $180,000 with her sixth triumph in 11 starts, she also won an automatic berth in the $2 million  Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic Nov. 2 at Santa Anita since the Hirsch Stakes is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.

Include Me Out, a stablemate of Rail Trip who won the San Diego Handicap a week ago for the same connections, Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Ellis, went postward the 8-5 favorite and returned $5.20, $3.20 and $2.60. The Hirsch marked her second Grade I success, having won the Santa Margarita last winter. She now earned $683,600 in her career.

Star Billing, who went postward at 9-1 despite the presence of stakes-riding star Bejarano, returned $6.20 and $3.60, while Amani, who was ridden by Garrett Gomez, paid $3.40 to show.

Although narrowly beaten in the Hirsch, Bejarano had a productive day, booting in three winners – Roar Baby Roar ($18) in the first, Rolling Fog ($4) in the fifth and Classic Legacy ($4.40) in the sixth.

After 14 days of the Del Mar summer season, Bejarano occupies the top spot in the rider standings with 22 winners, two more than Gomez who had a single victory, on the promising two-year-old first-time starter Capo Bastone ($5) in the seventh race.

 

 

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