Saturday, August 04, 2012

Unusual Heatwave, Bejarano Win Real Deal Good Stakes

Given a typically rousing ride by jockey Rafael Bejarano, Unusual Heatwave rallied from next-to-last in a field of seven California-bred three-year-olds to win the featured $200,000 Real Good Stakes at Del Mar Friday.

Unusual Heatwave, sent postward the third choice at 3-1, saved ground around the final turn, was steered outside two horses for clear running room by Bejarano in the upper stretch, wore down Rousing Sermon in the final sixteenth and won by three-quarters of a length in 1:22.35 for the seven furlongs over the main track.

Unusual Heatwave, a son of Unusual Heat owned by Ellen Johnson, Peter Johnson, Sr. and Teresa McWilliams, all of Santa Barbara, and trained by Alexis Barba, provided Bejarano with his seventh stakes success out of 14 stakes run thus far this summer season. The record for most stakes wins by a jockey in a season at Del Mar is 12 held jointly by Laffit Pincay, Jr., Chris McCarron, Gary Stevens and Corey Nakatani.

Third in the Real Good Deal was Got Even, 3 ¼ lengths behind the runner-up, Rousing Sermon, and 2 ½ lengths ahead of fourth-place Champions Gate.

Unusual Heatwave, scoring his third win in a dozen races, returned $8.80, $3.80 and $3 while earning $111,000 to boost his bankroll to $400,392.

Runner-up Rousing Sermon, piloted by Mike Smith, paid $3.60 and $3, while Got Even paid $4.20 to show. Derby Gold, the lukewarm 2-1 favorite, was fifth in an even effort. Celtic Drama was scratched from the original line-up.

Unusual Heatwave was Bejarano’s second victory on the card to give him 19 for the meeting, tied with Garrett Gomez who won one race Friday. Joe Talamo, who won five races Thursday, blanked Friday and is third in the standings with 17 victories.

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