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Sarach Outmaneuvers Rivals in Sandy Blue

Wertheimer and Friere’s Sarach, benefiting from a perfect ride by jockey Martin Garcia, overhauled 2-1 favored and pacesetting Pontchatrain in deep stretch to win Friday’s featured $95,700 Sandy Blue Handicap for three-year-old fillies.

Trainer Richard Mandella also had Sarach entered in Saturday’s Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Oaks but chose to run the Kentucky-bred daughter of Arch in the Sandy Blue and the move paid off as Sarach scored by a length in 1:33.94 for the mile over the infield grass course.

Miss Empire, a 26-1 longshot, rallied well in the stretch to be second, three-quarters of a length in front of 12-1 Redressthebalance with Pontchatrain fading to fourth in the field of nine fillies.

Sarach, victress in the Grade II Honeymoon Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park in early June, went postward the second choice at 3-1 and returned $8.20, $4.60 and $3.60 after recording her fourth success in ten starts. First money of $56,820 increased the filly’s earnings to $246,562.

Miss Empire, with Edwin Maldonado up, paid $17.80 and $9.20, while Redressthebalance paid $6.20 to show.

With $886,620 in “new” money pursuing a carryover from Thursday of $110,122, for a total pool of $996,742, there were ten perfect tickets in the Pick Six and  each was  worth $58,612.

In the midst of a comeback from knee surgery, jockey Patrick Valenzuela scored his first victory since October 6, 2012 when he won Friday’s opener aboard Hustlin Nu at $5 for trainer Doug O’Neill. The latter also sent out the winner of the second race, Great Friends Rule, at $12.80.

Also saddling two winners Friday was John Sadler, who won the third with Yodel Up A Storm for a $3.40 payoff and Rosies Ready at $20.40 in the fourth. Sadler leads the trainers’ list with 18, three more than O’Neill, with Bob Baffert third at 14 wins.



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