Patriots Rule rallies to win California Dreamin’ Stakes

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DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Long-shot Patriots Rule rallied from last to beat Ambitious Brew by a half-length Sunday in the $150,000 California Dreamin’ Stakes at Del Mar.

Patriots Rule ran 1 1/16 miles on the turf course in 1:41.78 and paid $35.80, $12.40 and $6.60 his sixth victory in 21 starts. The 5-year-old earned $85,500 to push his total to $421,730.

“She broke well and I had a beautiful trip,” jockey Joe Talamo said. “I got over to the fence and tried to save all I could. When you’re coming from last, you’re looking for spots to get through. I didn’t want to have to go six-wide and lose all that ground. I got lucky with that and he had a good kick late. I like the way this turf course is playing. It’s fair. You can win on the front end, or you can win coming from the back – like I did.”

Patriots Rule was making his first start in almost a year for owner Charles Garvey and trainer Robertino Diodoro,

“Since we gave this horse a well-deserved rest, he’s come back working so well,” assistant trainer Sean Williams said. “Everything we’ve done with him has been a prep for this and it worked out perfectly.”

Ambitious Brew returned $6.60 and $4.60 in the race for California-bred horses.

“This horse tries hard every time,” jockey Flavien Prat said. “He’s a nice horse. This just might have been a little too far for him.”

Boozer paid $4 to show. Alert Bay was fourth, followed by Somethings Unusual, Soi Phet, Poshsky and Avanti Bello.

Hard Aces won the Grade 3 $100,000 Cougar II Handicap, beating Quick Casablanca by a half-length to end a nine-race losing streak that dated to the 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita.

Ridden by Santiago Gonzalez for trainer John Sadler, the 6-year-old Hard Aces ran 1 1/2 miles on the dirt in 2:30.55 and paid $2.80 and $2.10. He had seven victories in 33 starts with earnings of $999,645.

“He’s a grinder and a hard horse to ride because he pulls himself up and never wins by much, but he got a very good ride today,” Sadler said. “We’ll look at maybe something long on the grass near the end of the meet and we’ll obviously look at the Pacific Classic.”

Quick Casablanca returned $2.80 to place in the four-horse field. Favored Hoppertunity was scratched Friday morning.