Last of the 10 sophomore fillies in the clubhouse turn of Saturday's G2 San Clemente Stakes, George Krikorian's homebred Mucho Unusual was able to circle the field in time to hit the wire first under jockey Joel Rosario. The daughter of Mucho Macho Man, trained by Timothy Yakteen, covered a mile over Del Mar's firm turf in 1:34.66 to score as the 5-2 favorite over Apache Princess.
“I left it (race tactics) up to Joel, but I was just as surprised as everybody else that she was as far back as she was,” Yakteen said. “She was doing really well and I conveyed that to Joel in the paddock. We're really pleased with her effort. Things have been going according to plan and this is one industry where that doesn't often happen. The prep race at Santa Anita set her up well for this and this should set her up well for the (Del Mar) Oaks.”
Outrun in the early stages of the one-mile grass event, Rosario cut loose Mucho Unusual on the far turn, swung wide to rally entering the stretch and collared another late-runner, 17-1 Apache Princess, in the final yards to win by a neck in 1:34.66.
Apache Princess, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, was three-quarters of a length ahead of Over Emphasize, with Keeper Ofthe Stars, the 5-2 second choice, fourth in the field of ten fillies.
Mucho Unusual, owned and bred in California by George Krikorian and trained by Tim Yakteen, returned $7, $4 and $3.40 while earning $120,000 with her fourth victory in only seven outings. Apache Princess paid $11.80 and $7.20, while Over Emphisize returned $4.60 to show.
“She just didn't show me a lot (of speed) early, so I let her do her thing away from there,” Rosario said. “On the backside, she wanted to go, so we went after them. Turning for home I thought about going down inside, but she was making up ground and I didn't want to chance it. She had that nice acceleration through the stretch and we got it. I love it here at Del Mar.“
Bred in California by her owner, Mucho Unusual is out of the winning Unusual Heat mare Not Unusual. When bidding on the filly at Keeneland September stopped at $170,000, Krikorian opted to retain her to race. Mucho Unusual has now won three of her seven career starts with two seconds, earning a total of more than $350,000.
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