Larkin Armstrong's Harmonize got her first Grade 1 victory in Saturday evening's Del Mar Oaks, besting three other rivals in a blanket finish at the wire by a head. The sophomore daughter of Scat Daddy covered 1 1/8 miles over Del Mar's firm turf in 1:48.71 under Junior Alvarado for trainer Bill Mott.
“She had some trouble last time, but she ran just right today,” Alvarado said. “Bill (trainer Bill Mott) didn't give me any special instructions before I came out (from Saratoga). He rarely does. But she was full of run today and showed everyone just how good she is. This is my first mount at Del Mar. Amazing. I win a Grade I. It doesn't get any better than that. I've wanted to ride here and now I have and it worked out great.”
Lady Valeur jumped out of the gate the quickest, and held a one-length advantage entering the first turn over Stays in Vegas. She swept through a first quarter in :23.43, tracked by Mokat, Barleysugar and Lynne's Legacy, with Harmonize in behind those three. Mokat swept up the inside to pressure the two leaders nearing the half-mile mark, urging them through the fraction in :47.87. Stays in Vegas was just outside Lady Valeur entering the turn, effectively boxing in Mokat.
As Stays in Vegas took the lead at the head of the lane, Mokat gained clear running, but Harmonize and Decked Out were closing well from the back of the field. Lady Valeur attempted to battle on but folded late. Harmonize and Decked Out just caught Stays in Vegas in the last 100 yards, and those three crossed the wire nearly together with Mokat less than neck behind. The photo finish declared Harmonize the winner, with Decked Out second and Stays in Vegas third. Mokat was fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Jack Swain, Harmonize brought $80,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale. She earned her first graded stakes victory as a juvenile in the G3 Jessamine at Keeneland, and was most recently fifth in the G1 Belmont Oaks. Overall, Harmonize boasts four wins from nine starts, with earnings of over $400,000.
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