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Kettle Corn Wears Down Paynter in San Diego

CRK Stable’s consistent Kettle Corn, seemingly always there or thereabouts in California stakes competition, rallied powerfully through the stretch under Victor Espinoza to wear down 3-5 favored Paynter and win Saturday’s Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap.

Kettle Corn, the 7-2 second choice in the field of six horses, briefly dropped back to last entering the stretch, then moved between horses to engage Paynter and steadily forged ahead to win by a half-length in 1:41.83 for the mile and one-sixteenth over Del Mar’s main track.

Paynter, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, stalked pacesetting longshot Batti Man from the start, took the lead in the upper stretch but couldn’t withstand the challenge of Kettle Corn while finishing three-quarters of a length in front Batti Man who set the pace under Brice Blanc. Three-year-old Chief Havoc was fourth, followed by Liaison and Clubhouse Ride, who turned in disappointing performances.

Kettle Corn, a six-year-old son of Candy Ride trained by John Sadler, came into the San Diego off a bang-up second-place behind handicap division leader Game On Dude in the Hollywood Gold Cup. A year ago, he was third to Rail Trip in the San Diego.

Kettle Corn earned $120,000 with his eighth victory in 24 starts and now has a career bankroll of $653,111. He returned $9.20, $3.40 and $2.60 to his backers Saturday. Paynter, running his second race of a comeback after being near death with a variety of physical problems a year ago, paid $2.40 and $2.10, while Batti Man returned $6 to show.

The San Diego Handicap is the major steppingstone to Del Mar’s richest race, the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic Sunday, August 25.

In the afternoon’s supporting feature, the $200,000 Fleet Treat Stakes for California-bred three-year-old fillies, Sweet Marini led from start to finish under jockey Martin Garcia to score by 4 ¾ lengths in 1:22.25 for the seven furlongs over the main track.

Qiaona, a 14-1 longshot, was second, with 15-1 Warren’s Veneda edging out 7-10 favorite Doinghardtimeagain for third. The last-named prompted the pace of the winner, but faltered in the stretch to be well-beaten. Of  $506,588 in the show pool on the Fleet Treat, $440,895 was wagered on Doinghardtimeagain to finish third.

Sweet Marini, a daughter of  Marino Marini owned by Kaleem Shah and trained by Bob Bafffert, went postward a solid second choice at 6-5 and paid $4.60 while earning $117,200 with her third triumph in five starts.

Edwin Maldonado, who tied for the riding title with Bejarano at Betfair Hollywood Park, enjoyed his most productive afternoon of the meeting, booting in three winners – Hey Cowboy at $24.80 in the first, Splendiferous Moon at $12.40 in the fifth and Corsa di Cavalli at $14 in the ninth.

 

 

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Older Comments about Kettle Corn Wears Down Paynter in San Diego...

Overall a good weekend for me. Had Richard's Kid and Palace Malice to win. Kettlecorn and Goldencents to Place. Only major miss was oxbow.
Paynter, two wide on both turns and second beaten just a half-length, covered 27 feet more than San Diego winner Kettle Corn. 27 feet equates to roughly 3.1 lengths. Kettle Corn ran the final quarter in 23.98 seconds, and a final eighth in 12.14 seconds, both easily the fastest in the race.

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