The three stakes races offered through the first seven days of the Los Angeles County Fair meet at Los Alamitos share something in common.
All have been won by Hall of Fame jockey Kent Desormeaux.
Two of those victories have been in tandem with trainer Jeff Bonde, the latest a half-length score by 6-5 favorite Ismelucky in Saturday's $100,000 Barretts Debutante. Bonde and Desormeaux had teamed a week earlier with Princess Karen in the $75,000 Beverly J. Lewis.
Overcoming trouble at the start and traffic trouble along the way, Ismelucky, a 2-year-old Lucky Pulpit filly out of the Tribal Rule mare Ismene, rallied along the rail to overtake 14-1 shot Shaken Memories near the wire.
Owned by Bonde and Jerome Russell, Ismelucky completed the 6 ½ furlongs in 1:17.84. The win was her second in three starts and increased her earnings to $108,420.
The Debutante was the first race for Ismelucky since she defeated maidens by 2 ½ lengths May 18 at Santa Anita.
“We backed off on her after she won because I thought she was a nice filly and she had some tightness in her hind end,'' said Bonde. “We cranked her up again to get her ready for this race.''
Bonde was pleased with how Ismelucky had trained leading into Saturday, but was apprehensive when she drew the rail in the field of nine. His fears were founded given what happened at the start and along the way.
“It was an eventful trip to say the least,'' said Desormeaux, whose other stakes win at the LACF meet came with Soi Phet in the E.B. Johnston Stakes hours before he won the Lewis with Princess Karen.
“We got slammed at the start by (eventual eighth-place finisher Funny Bean, who broke directly outside Ismelucky), then we had to wait for room, and then in the stretch, (Shaken Memories) was using her tail like a fan in front of us. This filly really showed me something today.''
Shaken Memories, who had finished third and ninth in her first two races, returned $12.40 and $5.60 while finishing a half-length in front of 8-5 second choice Exuberance. The show price on Exuberance was $2.20.
Helen's Tiger, My Claw, Unchanged, Fiftyeight Special, Funny Bean and Expendy completed the order of finish.
Racing will resume Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 2 p.m.
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