Monday, August 04, 2008
BLACK MAMBA WINS JOHN C. MABEE HANDICAP
Trapped along the rail until deep stretch, odds-on favored Black Mamba, under a cool ride by jockey Garrett Gomez, finally found running room nearing the wire to get up and win the featured Grade I $400,000 John C. Mabee Handicap Sunday at Del Mar.
The New Zealand-bred mare, returning to the scene of her first American triumph a year ago, needed a brilliant turn of speed to win by a half-length over a fast-closing longshot, the 24-1 I Can See, with pacemaker Passified hanging on for third, another three-quarters of a length back. Foxysox was fourth in the field of eight older fillies and mares.
Black Mamba, a five-year-old daughter of Black Minnaloushe, notched her fourth victory in 20 career starts and second stakes triumph in a row, having won the Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park June 29.
Sent to the post at 4-5, Black Mamba paid $3.80, $3 and $2.40 while increasing her total earnings to $599,171 including the prize of $240,000 in the Mabee 'Cap. I Can See returned $10.60 and $5.80, while Passified paid $3.20 to show.
Black Mamba ran the mile and one-sixteenth on the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course in 1:47.11, stepping her final furlong in less than 12 seconds.
Sunday's attendance was 15,826.
John C. Mabee Handicap
Breeders' Cup Challenge Series Race
GARRETT GOMEZ (Black Mamba) -- "Yes, I was concerned down inside there. I had a great ground-saving trip, but, of course, you've got to get out and be able to run at the end. What concerned me even more was even if we did get out, if she'd have enough foot to quicken like I'd need her to. She's more of a steady-paced filly and, even when she won the other day (Beverly Hills), she didn't pick it up real fast. John (Sadler) and I talked about that. But today, when we did get out (in the stretch), she really did quicken. She turned it on. It might be that she's learning, or maybe that win the other day got her turned around some. She had what it took today."
COREY NAKATANI (I Can See) -- "She ran a courageous race. She just got outrun late."
MIKE SMITH (Passified) -- "She tried really hard and really ran well. I'm proud of her. You know, this course is maybe a little too hard for her. But we gave it a good try."
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Foxysox) -- "I had a good trip, but my horse got shook up going into the first turn. A horse came in on us and she got all revved up. She wanted to go and I couldn't get her to settle. I wanted to stay in behind them -- keep her covered up -- but I couldn't do it and it cost us."
AARON GRYDER (Solva) -- "She just goes steady. She doesn't have that big turn of foot. This race today was too short for her. Give her a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half and then she'll fire."
DAVID FLORES (Green Lyons) -- "I got slammed coming out of the gate and I'm last. I wanted to be up near the lead, but then I was completely out of my game plan. I had to hope for luck then, and it didn't happen."
JOHN SADLER (Black Mamba) -- "I didn't give Garrett any instructions. I just told him to get the job done. I was a little worried at the top of the stretch when she got in tight. I was hoping she'd get a seam. We thought we were running the best horse. Garrett rode a great race. I've had a lot of success with him."
What's next: "We'll run in the Yellow Ribbon at Santa Anita and then the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf. We got in today with this win, but we'll have to supplement her [$300,000]. We'll do that."
STEVE KNAPP (I Can See) -- "She ran a great race. We were hoping to get to the Breeders' Cup with this race, but we still have some chances. This is a nice filly, she just doesn't get any respect. It was a perfect ride by Corey [Nakatani]. The winner got through on the inside and we got through outside, so it was racing luck."
JIM CASSIDY (Passified) -- "She ran great. Mike couldn't have ridden her any better."
FRACTIONS: :24.48 :48.51 1:11.79 1:35.34 1:47.11
The "Win and You're In" concept for the Breeders' Cup in this race works for the $2-million Filly & Mare Turf, run at a mile and a quarter on Friday, October 24 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.
Doubledown Stables is the nom de course of Richard Templer of Chicago, IL.
The stakes win by Garrett Gomez is his third of the meeting and his 20th overall at Del Mar. This is his first victory in the Mabee.
The stakes win by John Sadler is his third of the meeting and his 25th overall at Del Mar. This is the first time he's captured the Mabee. The victory also was his third on today's Del Mar card.
Read more articles in the Del Mar category.