Verbal sounds off with victory in Cecil B. DeMille at Del Mar

Verbal sounds off with victory in Cecil B. DeMille at Del Mar
Photo: Benoit / Del Mar

Juddmonte Farm’s Verbal took his cues smartly from Jose Ortiz and closed nicely through the lane to take down the eighth edition of the Grade 3, $102,500 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes by a half-length at Del Mar in Sunday, closing day of the fall season.

“He won easy last time, but that was against maidens,” Ortiz said. “He was running against winners today, much better horses. I knew there would be speed in the race so, even though I had the outside post, I was able to drop over and save some ground. He came running when it counted. The boss (trainer Chad Brown) knows how to spot a horse. He had it right today.”

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The homebred colt by Flintshire ran a mile on turf in 1:36.16 to best nine 2-year-old rivals. For his handiwork he picked up a check for $60,000 to improve his earnings to $109,500. He is now 2-for-2 in his blooming career.

Finishing second in the turfer was Drakos and Hanson’s long shot Barsabas, who nipped Kretz Racing’s Cabo Spirit by a nose.

The winner was the even-money favorite and paid $4.00, $3.20 and $2.60 across the board. Barsabas returned $31.20 and $12.80, while Cabo Spirit paid $5.00.

The early fractions were clocked at 22.04, 46.10, 1:11.86 and 1:24.24.

The stakes win was the third of the meet for rider Ortiz, but his second (Analyze It, 2017) in the Cecil B. DeMille. He has five stakes wins at Del Mar. The stakes win was the first of the meet for Brown but his second (Analyze It, 2017) in the Cecil B. DeMille. He has 13 stakes wins at Del Mar.

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