With 50-year-old Hall of Famer Gary Stevens in the saddle, She’s a Tiger disposed of even-money favored Awesome Baby entering the stretch
and then had enough left in the tank to hold off the fast-closing
Fascinating and win the featured Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante for
She’s a Tiger, a half-sister to the former star sprinter Smiling
Tiger, engaged Awesome Baby shortly after the start of the seven-furlong
sprint, setting fast fractions. Without much urging from Stevens, She’s
a Tiger was able to draw off from Awesome Baby in the upper stretch but
then had to go all out to defeat Fascinating by a shrinking half-length
Fascinating, one of three horses saddled by trainer Bob Baffert,
including Awesome Baby, who wound up seventh in the eight-horse field,
and fourth-place Secret Compass, was 1 ¾ lengths ahead of third-place
Concave. Secret Compass was the same margin behind Concave.
She’s a Tiger, a daughter of Tale of the Cat owned by Mark
DeDomenico, Allen Aldrich, Stuart Downey and Lisa Hernandez and trained
by Jeff Bonde, began her career in northern California, breaking her
maiden at Pleasanton before winning the Landaluce Stakes at Betfair
Hollywood Park. She suffered her only defeat when losing by a
half-length to Concave in the Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar Aug. 7. Bonde
also conditioned Smiling Tiger who won the Bing Crosby Stakes in
Second choice in the wagering at 9-2, She’s a Tiger returned $11,
$5.40 and $3.80. First money of $180,000 increased her earnings to
$315,650. She provided Stevens with his fifth success in the Del Mar
Debutante and first since Miss Houdini in 2002.
Fascinating, 6-1 under Mike Smith, rallied strongly in the stretch to
miss narrowly in a strong effort and paid $6.60 and $4.60. Concave,
with Patrick Valenzuela up, paid $3.60 to show.
In a supporting feature on the 11-race program, Summer Hit led from
wire to wire under Edwin Maldonado to win the $110,400 Harry F. Brubaker
Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths over Wilkinson, with Liaison third. Sky Kingdom,
the lukewarm 5-2 favorite, was fourth.
Summer Hit, owned by John Carver and trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, ran the mile in 1:34.99 and paid $10.60 while winning $72,420.
Victor Espinoza was the day’s riding star, booting in three winners.