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
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