DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) California Chrome beat Dortmund by a half-length Saturday at Del Mar in the Grade 2 $200,000 San Diego Handicap, the 1 1/16-mile prep for the Grade I $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 20.
Ridden by Victor Espinoza for trainer Art Sherman, the 2014 Horse of the Year was making his first start since winning the world’s most lucrative race, the $10 million World Cup in Dubai on March 26.
“I saved something for the end. I knew I’d have to,” Espinoza said. “I have a lot of respect for Dortmund and he made me run hard. I could see he (Dortmund) was running so hard. When we came down the stretch, I was concerned. This horse was carrying a lot of weight; that was the challenge. But he was a runner all the way today. What a terrific comeback race for him. He’s back. He’s such a special horse.”
California Chrome finished in 1:40.84 and paid $3.60, $2.20 and $2.10. The 5-year-old has 13 victories in 22 starts with earnings of $12,652,650.
Dortmund returned $2.40 and $2.10, and Win the Space paid $2.10 to show.
Mokat won the $201,725 San Clemente Handicap for 3-year-old fillies. Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Mokat won by almost four lengths in 1:35.23 for the mile on the turf course.
Mokat paid $16.40, $7.20 and $4.80 for her second victory in nine starts. Lady Valeur returned $9.60 and $5.60, and Stays In Vegas paid $3.80.
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Prize Exhibit rallied from fifth with three furlongs remaining and won the $100,000 Megahertz Stakes for older fillies and mares by 1 1/4 lengths Monday at Santa Anita.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Prize Exhibit ran a mile on turf in 1:35.56 and paid $8.80, $4.40 and $3.40.
Ireland-bred Jeremy’s Legacy returned $9 and $4.60. The Mystic was another head back in third and paid $3.40 to show as the 3-1 second choice.
The Grade 3 victory, worth $60,000, increased Prize Exhibit’s career earnings to $637,045, with seven wins in 31 starts. She had been winless in 10 starts since capturing the Grade 2 Monrovia Stakes at the track a year ago.
“She can be tricky,” trainer Jim Cassidy said. “We’ve had to do a lot of different things with her and she’s just been happier lately.”
NEW YORK — Green Gratto held on to win the $125,000 Toboggan Stakes by a head on Monday at Aqueduct.
The 7-year-old set the pace under persistent pressure from Story to Tell. Green Gratto finally put away that rival in deep stretch, and had enough in reserve to fend off a final challenge from All Star Red.
The victory capped a big weekend at Aqueduct for jockey Kendrick Carmouche, who got three stakes wins in a four-day span.
The New Jersey-bred Green Gratto, owned and trained by Gaston Grant, earned his eighth win in 51 starts. The time was 1:10.74 for the six furlongs.
Green Gratto paid $7.30, $4.50 and $2.40 as the 5-2 second choice.
All Star Red returned $11 and $3.40, and Stallwalkin’ Dude, the 4-5 favorite, paid $2.10 to show.