Wertheimer and Friere’s
, 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
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
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,
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.