Perfectly placed by jockey Flavien Prat behind dueling leaders in the early stages of the $100,000 Betty Grable Stakes, Spiced Perfection surged between rivals to take command entering the stretch and drew off impressively to win the seven-furlong sprint by two and one-quarter lengths Sunday.
Spiced Perfection, sent off at 4-1 odds, scored her fourth win in six lifetime starts at Del Mar and fifth in 13 career efforts, running the distance in 1:23.21. Runner-up was Just Grazed Me under Tyler Baze, with S Y Sky, the 2-1 favorite, third, a length and one-quarter farther back, and three-quarters in front of fourth-place Love a Honeybadger in the field of eight older California-bred fillies and mares. Mo See Cal was scratched.
Spiced Perfection, a three-year-old daughter of former top sprinter Smiling Tiger, is owned by the Dare to Dream Stable of Michael Faber of Mundelein, Illinois and conditioned by Brian Koriner. She returned $10.60, $5 and $3.20 and earned $57,000 to increase her bankroll to $442,405. Prat also won the Betty Grable Stakes a year ago, aboard Majestic Heat.
Just Grazed Me paid $5 and $3, while S Y Sky returned $2.80 to show.
In addition to winning the Betty Grable Stakes, Koriner also saddled two other winners, for a rare training triple. He won the sixth race with Fast Cotton for a $4.20 payoff and the day's ninth and final race with Gypsy Blu in a $63.60 upset.
Racing at Del Mar continues Monday, Veterans Day, with a special holiday program commencing at 12:30 p.m. Feature race is the $100,000 Desi Arnaz Stakes for two-year-old fillies at seven furlongs.
Quotes from the Betty Grable:
FLAVIEN PRAT (Spiced Perfection, winner) – “We had a very good trip. Sat right behind the speed in a perfect spot. She split horses and went right on with it. She's a good one.”
TYLER BAZE (Just Grazed Me, second) – “I wish I could have got her running sooner. We were stuck down there on the fence and couldn't get running early enough. What can you do?”
JOE TALAMO (S Y Sky, third) – “Good trip for her. She'll be fine. She's a good filly.”
BRIAN KORINER (Spiced Perfection, winner) – “We've had a lot of luck doing that (turf to dirt switch). She ran great last time down the hill at Santa Anita. We didn't know that she would, but she's just a tough filly who runs great every time. Flavien (Prat) rode her great and she responded for him. I thought she was a little bit far back early, but a hole opened up for her coming for home and once she poked her head through there, that was it.”
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