MyRacehorse or Spendthrift Farm’s Tizamagician, the 3-10 favorite, repelled a late threat for Cupid’s Claws and went on to win the $100,500 Cougar II Stakes (G3) at 12 furlongs on July 18 at Del Mar by 2 1/4-lengths. He ran the testing distance in 2:31.45.
The winner, a 4-year-old colt by Tiznow, is trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, who was winning his fourth edition of the marathon. He was ridden by Flavien Prat, who was winning his second Cougar II and his third race on the day. (The rider subsequently won the 11th race nitecap for his fourth victory of the afternoon.)
Cupid’s Claws, owned by Flawless Racing and Masino Racing Stable, gave the victor a try around the turn and through the stretch, but in the end could not keep up. He finished 5 1/4-lengths ahead of Hronis Racing’s Heywoods Beach.
“He broke well today,” Prat said. “The thing with him is to get him to relax. He did that pretty well. At the three eights (pole) I began to ride him and he responded. It’s always good to win a race for Mr. Mandella. That’s special. He was the man that brought me over here (from France) and it’s good when I can win one for him.”
The winner paid $2.60, $2.20 and $2.10 across the board. Cupid’s Claws returned $4.40 and $2.80 and Heywoods Beach paid $2.60 for the show.
“He likes to run all day. I think Flavien (Prat) even had trouble pulling him up after all that,” Mandella said. “He’s figuring things out and he really likes the long distance. He’s improving my training. We’ll size it up (regarding next race) there may be one down here and there’s a really nice marathon during the Breeders’ Cup. That’s what we’re really looking for.”
Tizamagician earned $60,000 from the Cougar II purse and increased his career bankroll to $427,851.
Contagion was pulled up and walked onto the van after the Cougar II Stakes, and was reported to be back at the barn and resting comfortably.