Fashion Business makes a statement in Del Mar Handicap win

August 13, 2018 08:07pm

Fashion Business and jockey Flavien Prat made a bold statement in the Grade 2, $250,00 Del Mar Handicap Saturday. Making an early move, the pair circled the field heading into the final turn and pulled away by open lengths in the homestretch.

“On the backside I could tell they were going slow and I went a little wide around there,” Prat said after the race. “I know it takes a little time to go around. I just kept digging in and he just finished. I had a pretty clean trip.”

The Del Mar Handicap, run at 1 3/8 miles turf and serving as a “Win and You’re In” event for the Breeders’ Cup, gave Fashion Business an automatic berth into the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.

It was the first stakes win for the 4-year-old gelded son of Frankel, who made his first two career starts in England before moving to Phil D’Amato’s Southern California stable. Fashion Business has continuously thrown his hat into the turf stakes ring in California, even making a trip to Belmont Park.

Prior to the Del Mar Handicap, his best effort was a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 La Jolla Handicap, where he missed Sharp Samurai by a head. Fashion Business then opened up 2018 with an allowance optional claiming victory, his first trip to the winner’s circle stateside.

Even with the confidence booster, Fashion Business followed his season debut with two off the board finishes in the Grade 1 Manhattan and Grade 2 Eddie Read.

In the Del Mar Handicap, Fashion Business broke quietly and settled second-to-last, waiting to make his usual rally. Up front, Kenjisstorm took the lead from Ashleyluvssugar as the first quarter went in 24.64, followed by a half-mile in 48.91. Cashman and Itsinthepost also made early moves ahead of Colonist, Multiplier, Ya Gotta Wanna and Unapologetic. Meanwhile, Fashion Business was winding up for a big run and left Flamboyant and Whoop Whoop behind him.

With just over half a mile left, Prat took advantage of the slow pace and made an incredible move on Fashion Business. The pair exploded through the final turn, circled the field and continued that momentum deep through the stretch. They were two lengths clear turning for home and crossed the wire 5 1/4 lengths in front, stopping the clock in 2:13.84.

Ya Gotta Wanna, Multiplier and Colonist ran on to round out the superfecta, but they were far behind Fashion Business.

“I thought he was going to come running,” said winning trainer Phil D’Amato. “I think Flavien just sensed they were going so slow it was a now or never type move. His race at Belmont was actually way better than it looked. He was in a blanket finish and then the horse that finished behind him [Robert Bruce] came back and won the [Grade 1] Arlington Million.

“The last race [the Eddie Read] – the mile and an eighth – we used as a prep for this race and it just worked out perfect.”

Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and Marsha Naify, Fashion Business improved his record to 3-3-1 from 12 starts in the Del Mar Handicap and pushed his earnings up to $283,885.


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