Juddmonte Farm’s Verbal took his cues smartly from Jose Ortiz and closed through the lane to take down the $102,500 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (G3) by a half-length at Del Mar on Nov. 28, closing day of the seaside track’s Bing Crosby Season.
The homebred colt by Flintshire (GB) ran a mile on turf in 1:36.16 to best nine 2-year-old rivals. For his handiwork he picked up a check for $60,000 to improve his earnings to $109,500. He’s now two-for-two in his just-blooming career having broken his maiden at first asking in handy fashion going a mile at Belmont Park on Oct. 10.
“He won easy last time, but that was against maidens,” Ortiz said of his mount. “He was running against winners today, much better horses. I knew there would be speed in the race so, even though I had the outside post, I was able to drop over and save some ground. He came running when it counted. The boss (trainer Chad Brown) knows how to spot a horse. He had it right today.”
The winner was the even-money favorite and paid $4.00, $3.20 and $2.60 across the board. Barsabas returned $31.20 and $12.80, while Cabo Spirit paid $5.00.
“I liked the way he was coming into this race, he’s been training well,” said Jose Hernandez, assistant to Brown. “It worked out like we thought. He’s got a really good turn of foot and he got there. We didn’t have much luck yesterday, but this is a really good start for today.”
The stales win was the third of the meet for rider Ortiz, but his second (Analyze It, 2017) in the Cecil B. DeMille. He now has five stakes wins at Del Mar.
The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Brown, but his second (Analyze It, 2017) in the Cecil B. DeMille. He now has 13 stakes wins at Del Mar.