DEL MAR, Calif. — Free Rose won the $250,000 Del Mar Derby for 3-year-olds by a half-length Sunday at Del Mar.
Ridden by Norberto Arroyo Jr., Free Rose ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:47.70 and paid $25.80, $12.80 and $8.60 at 11-1 odds. Trained by Richard Baltas, Free Rose went to the front in the stretch and hung on for the narrow victory in the Grade 2 race.
Ralis returned $6.80 and $5.60, while Dressed in Hermes was another nose back in third and paid $8.20 to show.
Blackjackcat, the 3-1 favorite, finished sixth in the 14-horse field.
The victory, worth $150,000, increased Free Rose’s career earnings to $314,760, with four wins in 11 starts.
In the $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes for older fillies and mares, Avenge held on in the closing yards to defeat 12-1 shot Finest City by a head.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Avenge ran 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:48.82 and paid $17.60, $10.60 and $7.60 at 7-1 odds. Trained by Richard Mandella, the 4-year-old filly took command in the upper stretch after running in a stalking second position behind pacesetter Gloryzapper in the early stages.
Finest City returned $12.80 and $8.60, while Elektrum was another half-length back in third and paid $4.60.
Sobradora Inc, the 2-1 favorite, and Havanna Belle finished in a dead heat for fifth.
The victory, worth $120,000, increased Avenge’s career earnings to $291,996, with five wins in 11 starts.
Rafael Bejarano rode three winners on the card to close within one of leading rider Prat, who has 37 winners going into the last day of the summer meet on Monday.