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Breeders Cup 2015

Weemissfrankie Pulls Away in Debutante


Weemissfrankie, winner of a maiden race in her career debut on opening-day, July 20, of the Del Mar racing season, stamped herself as a two-year-old filly to reckon on the national stage later this year with an impressive triumph Saturday in the Grade I $250,000 Del Mar Debutante.

Rallying from mid-pack on the far outside turning into the stretch, Weemissfrankie, the 2-1 favorite,  quickly gained command under jockey Rafael Bejarano and continued on strongly to the wire to win by 1 ¼ lengths in 1:23.20 for the seven furlongs.

Self Preservation, a 24-1 longshot ridden by Patrick Valenzuela  and a $10,000 supplemental nominee, closed strongly to be second in her American debut after two starts in Ireland. She finished three-quarters of a length in front of Emerald Gold, with 60-1 Wild Truffles a creditable fourth in the field of ten fillies.

Weemissfrankie, two-for-two in her brief but meteoric career, earned $150,000 and returned $6.80, $4.40 and $3 to her supporters in a crowd of 14,668.  Self Preservation paid $18.20 and $10.20, while Emerald Gold paid 4 to show.

In the afternoon’s supporting feature, the $91,040 Windy Sands Handicap for older horses, French-bred Shediak, the longest shot in the field at 23-1, rallied along the rail in the stretch under Valenzuela to score by almost two lengths over El Gato Malo.

Achak was third, with Preamble fourth in a line-up of eight middle-distance horses. Kevlar Kid, the 7-5 favorite, was fifth after engaging in an early speed duel with Warning Song.

Achak, owned by Triple B Farms and trained by Ben Cecil, ran the one-mile distance in 1:35.64 and paid $49.80, $18.40 and $9.40 after scoring only his third victory in 24 starts. He had won his previous race under Valenzuela as an 11-1 upsetter.

First money of $54,624 increased his earnings to $244,261.

El Gato Malo, in his second start of the year, paid $13 and $7.60, while Achak returned $9.60 to show.

Mike Mitchell, who became the winningest trainer in Del Mar history earlier this summer, moved closer to his seventh title at the seaside track as he saddled three winners on the Saturday program, two of them piloted by Joe Talamo. The latter drew within two of rival Joel Rosario, 41-39, with three days remaining of the 37-day session. Rosario was limited to a single success. Mitchell leads John Sadler, 24-19, for the conditioning crown.



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