Nechez Dawn, a winner of two of three previous starts this year while campaigning at Gulfstream Park, Keeneland and Arlington Park, sped into command shortly after the start and led throughout despite bearing out around the far turn and through the stretch.
Nechez Dawn, trained for her first three starts by Larry Rivelli before coming to the Bonde barn in California, stepped the distance in :55.99 and returned $16.20, $8.20 and $6 while earning $53,400. Missdealornodeal paid $16.20 and $7, while Madoffwiththemoney paid $8.20 to show.
Nechez Dawn provided the 29-year-old Maldonado, a native of Columbus, Ohio, with his first Del Mar stakes success.
Leading jockey Rafael Bejarano had another profitable day in the saddle as he booted in three winners to lead Garrett Gomez by three in the standings, 28-25, after 18 days of the 37-day Del Mar summer season. Bejarano won the first, second and sixth races, while Gomez won the fourth.
With no perfect tickets in Friday’s Pick Six, Saturday’s program will feature a carryover of $119,788. Post time for the first of ten races will be 2 p.m. with the Pick Six commencing on the fifth race.