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Mucho Unusual, Rosario Win San Clemente Stakes

Saturday, July 20th, 2019

Provided by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Mucho Unusual © Benoit Photo

After winning the Grade II $200,000 San Diego Handicap earlier in the afternoon aboard 1-9 favored Catalina Cruiser, jockey Joel Rosario made his trip West even more worthwhile as he rallied 5-2 betting choice Mucho Unusual from last place to capture the Grade II $200,000 San Clemente Stakes for three-year-old fillies Saturday.

Outrun in the early stages of the one-mile grass event, Rosario cut loose Mucho Unusual on the far turn, swung wide to rally entering the stretch and collared another late-runner, 17-1 Apache Princess, in the final yards to win by a neck in 1:34.66.

Apache Princess, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, was three-quarters of a length ahead of Over Emphasize, with Keeper Ofthe Stars, the 5-2 second choice, fourth in the field of ten fillies.

Mucho Unusual, owned and bred in California by George Krikorian and trained by Tim Yakteen, returned $7, $4 and $3.40 while earning $120,000 with her fourth victory in only seven outings. Apache Princess paid $11.80 and $7.20, while Over Emphisize returned $4.60 to show.

In the $99,164 Daisycutter Handicap, a supporting feature on the Saturday card, Painting Corners and jockey Flavien Prat held off the challenge of 6-5 favored S Y Sky and then survived a stewards’ inquiry to win the five furlong sprint over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Drayden Van Dyke, who rode S Y Sky, lodged a claim of foul, alleging stretch interference. However, the stewards disallowed the claim after reviewing videotape of the stretch run.

Painting Corners, owned by Altamira Stable and Slam Dunk Racing and trained by Peter Miller, won by three-quarters of a length in :56.21. S Y Sky was a half-length in front of Just Grazed Me in the field of nine grass sprinters. The winner, a daughter of Pleasant Strike, paid $12.40 while earning first money of $53,760 with her seventh win in 20 starts.

JOEL ROSARIO (Mucho Unusual, winner) – “She just didn’t show me a lot (of speed) early, so I let her do her thing away from there. On the backside, she wanted to go, so we went after them. Turning for home I thought about going down inside, but she was making up ground and I didn’t want to chance it. She had that nice acceleration through the stretch and we got it.  I love it here at Del Mar.“ (The rider forsook his usual riding post at Saratoga to ride today at Del Mar. In the process, he missed a dark day at The Spa because of excessive heat and won both graded stakes at Del Mar.)

KENT DESORMEAUX (Apache Princess, second) – “I was on a nice horse and I moved too soon. It’s on me.”

ALONSO QUINONEZ (Over Emphasize, third) – “She put in a good try.”

TIM YAKTEEN (Mucho Unusual, winner) – “I left it (race tactics) up to Joel, but I was just as surprised as everybody else that she was as far back as she was. She was doing really well and I conveyed that to Joel in the paddock. We’re really pleased with her effort. Things have been going according to plan and this is one industry where that doesn’t often happen. The prep race at Santa Anita set her up well for this and this should set her up well for the (Del Mar) Oaks.”

FRACTIONS:  :22.72  :46.50  1:10.84  1:22.80  1:34.66

The stakes win was the second of the meet for rider Rosario (he won the earlier San Diego Handicap on Catalina Cruiser), but his first in the San Clemente Stakes. He now has 28 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The stakes win was the first of the meet for trainer Yakteen and his first in the San Clemente. He now has five stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owner (and breeder) is George Krikorian of Torrance, Ca. He had previously won the Fleet Treat Stakes with Hollywood Hills Thursday.

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Photo Credits:   Vassar Photography (Northern CA)  |  Benoit Photo (Southern CA)  |  Michael J. Marten (Southern CA)

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