Ben Cecil was pleasantly surprised when Self Preservation ran second
at 24-1 in the Grade I Del Mar Debutante in her U.S. debut on Sept. 3.
“I didn’t like the way she was working down there before she ran,
so it was kind of a nice surprise,” the trainer said of the
English-bred daughter of Lion Heart who drew post position two for
Sunday’s Grade I Oak Leaf Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
“ It looked to me like she didn’t handle the track, so we were
very pleased with the way she ran. She’s done very well since she’s come
up here. I’ve been pretty pleased with her works.”
Self Preservation went six furlongs Monday in a bullet 1:11, fastest of
28 drills at the distance, the average time of which was 1:13.62.
The Oak Leaf field: Silent Saga, Victor Espinoza; Self
Preservation, Patrick Valenzuela; Killer Graces, Joe Talamo; Candrea,
Martin Garcia; My Gi Gi, Chantal Sutherland; Wild Truffles, Alonso
Quinonez; Regal Betty, Joel Rosario; Weemissfrankie, Rafael Bejarano;
Dreamcaster, Martin Pedroza; and Charm the Maker, Garrett Gomez.
Each carries 122 pounds.