Fresh from a romping triumph in the San Clemente Handicap,
Istanford was installed the 6-5 favorite Friday in the $96,350 Sandy
Blue Handicap and didn’t disappoint her followers, cruising to another
wire-to-wire victory under jockey Rafael Bejarano.
Istanford, packing topweight of 124 pounds in the one-mile
spin around the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course, took command out of
the gate, stepped off rapid fractions and reached the wire 3 ¼ lengths
in front in 1:34.18 for the distance.
Miss Machiavelli, a 16-1 longshot under Kent Desormeaux,
closed well to be runner-up, 1 ½ lengths in front of Tiz Kissable, with
Sheza Smoke Show fourth in the field of ten three-year-old fillies.
Maibaby was scratched.
Istanford is owned by the partnership of Alley, Thrash and
Thrash and trained by Michael Stidham, whose stable is competing on a
regular basis at Del Mar for the first time. The filly, withdrawn from
Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks to run in the Sandy Blue
Friday, earned $57,060 with her fifth victory in 11 starts, increasing
her money total to $385,425.
Istanford, a Florida-bred daughter of Istan purchased for
$25,000 as a yearling at the 2012 Ocala Breeders’ Sale, returned $4.60,
$3.20 and $2.60. Miss Machiavelli paid $10.20 and $6.80, while Tiz
Kissable returned $6.60 to show.