Prince Earl earns first stakes win in Del Mar Mile upset

August 18, 2019 08:25pm

Lightly-raced 4-year-old Prince Earl returned from an 8 1/2-month layoff to score his first stakes win in Sunday's Grade 2, $200,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2).

Trained by Phil D'Amato and ridden by Geovanni Franco, Prince Earl saved ground throughout and snuck through on the inside to win by about a length. Grecian Fire and Sharp Samurai were in a photo finish for second. 

Prince Earl completed the one-mile trip in 1:33.13 and paid $21.40.

D'Amato acknowledged bringing Prince Earl back in a Grade 2 off such a lengthy layoff was ambitious, but the connections have high hopes for the son of Paddy O' Prado this year. 

"I don't do this too often," D'Amato said. "He was training very well and he was a very highly regarded 3-year-old. We ran him in some pretty good races, but kind of had some unlucky trips.

"So we decided to take a big swing here and maybe get a chance to get him into the Breeders' Cup. It might have worked out."

The son of Paddy O' Prado had been sidelined since finishing fourth in the Hollywood Derby (G1) at Santa Anita last December. He has now won three of five starts with earnings of more than $200,000 for owners Old Bones Racing and T. Marshall. 

D'Amato said the plan is for Prince Earl to make one more start before a possible Breeders' Cup run. 

"We'll give him one more prep," D'Amato said. "And hopefully the [Breeders' Cup selection] committee will look at this as a pretty strong race with some grade one winners in here and give us a chance to run in the Mile."

Favored Bowies Hero struggled to find room late when rallying and missed the board.


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