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Istanford Cruises in Sandy Blue

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 The filly, withdrawn from Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks to run in the Sandy Blue Friday, earned $57,060 with her fifth victory in 11 starts, increasing her money total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.


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