Journey Home On Top In Controversial Jimmy Durante

by | 11.26.2016 | 7:35pm
Sam-Son Farm's Journey Home and jockey Drayden Van Dyke win the Grade III $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes

A juvenile daughter of War Front, Sam-Son Farm's Journey Home captured the Gr. 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday. The running of the race was controversial, because the field of 13 juvenile fillies encountered debris on the turf course rounding the first turn, hampering the majority of the field in what the stewards could have ruled to be “no contest” under California racing regulations. The stewards decided against taking such an action, allowing Journey Home's 1 1/4-length win under Drayden Van Dyke to stand. She covered one mile on the turf, rated firm despite a deluge at race time, in 1:38.24 for trainer Graham Motion.

“Man, I had a lot of horse today,” Van Dyke said. “Way more horse than I could use. She was just full of run.  I really couldn't ride her the way I wanted to because of the rain and wind (the track was hit by a squall at race time), but she took care of things anyway. She's a good one.”

Though With Honors broke the sharpest, she was joined by Defiant Honor from the center of the track to take the lead heading into the first turn. With Honors tracked from second while the eventual winner, Journey Home, trailed the field early on. Entering the first turn, the field encountered large debris on the turf course in the shape of large white squares, later determined to be foam drain covers, affecting the majority of the leaders and forcing some fillies into their rivals out wider on the course. Those on the inside track were able to avoid most of the concern.

Turning for home, Defiant Honor still held firm over With Honors after early fractions of 23.78 and 48.68. Journey Home, however, had stayed in the best part of the course in the center of the track and came flying down the outside to win with ease, leading by 1 1/4 lengths at the wire. Defiant Honor held second, while With Honors was third. Miss Sugars checked in fourth.

Bred in Kentucky by Will Farish and the Kilroy Thoroughbred Partnership, Journey Home was a $200,000 yearling at the Keeneland September sale. She won her first start at Laurel Park, and the Jimmy Durante is her second career victory to build her earnings to $82,000.

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