Flashiest wins Oceanside thriller on record opening day at Del Mar

Flashiest wins Oceanside thriller on record opening day at Del Mar
Photo: Casey Phillips/Eclipse Sportswire

Del Mar, Calif. 

Making his stakes debut for trainer Leonard Powell, Flashiest surged on the outside in deep stretch to win the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes at Del Mar Friday on a record opening day. 

Flashiest passed five horses in the final furlong while making up about 3 1/2 lengths under Abel Cedillo to edge Crew Dragon by a head in a blanket finish. Long shot No Foolery Here was another nose back in third with Hockey Dad an additional neck back in fourth.

Flashiest, making just his fourth start, paid $27.80.The final time for one mile on firm turf was 1:35.88.

The Oceanside highlighted a banner opening day at Del Mar. With an on-track crowd of 15,874, the track reported an opening-day handle record of $21,339,643. Last summer's opening day, which was not open to on-track fans due to COVID, had a total handle of $15,024,635. 

The previous opening-day handle record at Del Mar was $16,500,914 in 2016. 

"I had a plan for him, but he didn't break so well and so I didn't push it," Cedillo said of his first win in the Oceanside. "I just let him do his own thing and saved ground around the first turn. But when we went for the second turn, I said, 'That is it.' I went wide with him and let him do his thing. He did it all. He was the winner."

A 3-year-old Mizzen Mast gelding, Flashiest broke his maiden at Turf Paradise in April and came back to win an allowance/optional claimer at Santa Anita when entered for the $100,000 optional tag on May 21. Most recently, he was second in a first-level allowance at Santa Anita going 1 1/8-miles on June 18.

"I wasn't happy being so wide, but this horse has always been a bad actor at the gate and never sends speed," Powell said. "And when you don't have speed you have to go wide to advance. I thought he was six or seven wide entering the stretch, but he has a big, long stride reaching out. He was a very immature horse and he came in late to the barn, but he has been a good presence."

Fractions for the race were 23.03, 46.95 and 1:11.57 for six furlongs.

Flashiest is owned by Wachtel Stable, Gary Barber, Nicholas Drione and Mathilde Powell.

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