Claimed for $40,000 last winter at Santa Anita, Vasilika climaxed her rise from obscurity with an upset of 4-5 favored Cambodia in the featured Grade II $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes for older fillies and mares Saturday at Del Mar.
Under a confident ride by jockey Flavien Prat, Vasilika outfinished Cambodia in the stretch drive to score by a length and one-half and extend her victory streak to six in a row for owners Mark Schlaich of Concord, Ca., Dan Gatto of Olivenhain, Ca and George Todaro, Seattle, Wash. Jerry Hollendorfer trains the four-year-old daughter of Skipshot. Third, a neck behind Cambodia, was Fahan Mura, the early pacesetter, with Meal Ticket fourth in the field of eleven.
Withdrawn from the race were Storm the Hill, Cordiality and Midnight Crossing.
Vasilika was second choice in the betting at 4-1 and returned $10.40, $4.20 and $3.40 while earning $120,000 to increase her lifetime bankroll to $440,595. Cambodia, seeking to repeat her 2017 stakes double of the Yellow Ribbon Handicap and Mabee Stakes after taking the Yellow Ribbon July 20, paid $2.60 and $2.20, while Fahan Mura returned $4.80 to show.
Time for the nine furlongs over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course was 1:47.25.
John C. Mabee Replay
Drayden Van Dyke and Prat each tripled on the 11-race program, with the former retaining a two-winner edge, 37-35, entering the final two days of the 36-day Del Mar summer season. Prat’s win on Vasilika was his second stakes success of the afternoon, having also won the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante earlier.
With a carryover of $54,880 from Friday and “new” money of $326,588 Saturday for a total Pick Six pool of $481,468, there were four perfect tickets and each returned $57,339.
Bellafina Triumphs in Grade I Del Mar Debutante
Clinching the two-year-old filly championship of the 2018 Del Mar summer racing season, Kaleem Shah’s Bellafina drew away in the stretch to win the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante in convincing fashion Saturday.
With jockey Flavien Prat in the saddle, Bellafina took the lead from the pacesetting Mother Mother going into the final turn en route to a daylight four and one-quarter length triumph in 1:25.51 for the seven furlongs. The early furlongs were quick, :21.93 for the first quarter and :44.68 for the half-mile time.
Mother Mother continued on gamely after relinquishing command and was three and one-quarter lengths in front of third-place Boujie Girl at the end. Brill, the 3-5 favorite, was a disappointment as she finished fourth, beating only 40-1 outsider Watch Me Burn.
Del Mar Debutante Replay
Bellafina, an $800,000 purchase at a two-year-olds in training sale in Florida last March, went to the gate the second choice at 2-1 and paid $6.60, $3.20 and $3.20. First money of $180,000 increased her earnings to $308,000. On August 5, she won her first race in taking the Sorrento Stakes after finishing second in her career debut at Los Alamitos July 4.
Runner-up Mother Mother paid $4.20 and $3.60, while Boujie Girl returned $5.60 to show.