DEL MAR, Calif.—William Peeples’ Big City Lights did what he does best Friday at Del Mar when he went to the front early, then just couldn’t be caught late as he captured the $176,000 Real Good Deal Stakes by a length and a quarter.
The racy colt by the California sire Mr. Big cut out early splits of :22.14 and :44.27 in the seven-furlong headliner, then just kept on going under Del Mar’s leading rider Juan Hernandez to register his third win in his third start. He’s trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Richard Mandella.
“It’s nice to have the outside post where we don’t have to rush and worry about getting trapped. So, I said ‘Just let him break and if he wants to go to the lead that’s fine; if he settles, do that.’ He settled for a little bit and then went on,” Mandella commented.
Finishing second in the stakes limited to California-bred or sired 3-year-olds was Reddam Racing’s Slow Down Andy, who had a length and a quarter on the show horse, Lovingier, Fasihuddin or Navarro’s Finneus.
Final time for the sprint was 1:23.16. The winner, who went favored at 7/5, paid $4.80, $2.80 and $2.40 across the board. Slow Down Andy returned $2.60 and $2.20, while Finneus paid $4.60.
Big City Lights earned a first prize of $99,750 to boost his bankroll to $196,350.
“He broke well and was running well right from the start. Mr. Mandella (trainer Richard Mandella) told me to just play it as it comes up. He said I shouldn’t take anything away from him. When we went past the five-eighths (Pole) he really wanted to go, so I just let him. He was comfortable and so was I. He got a little tired at the end, but he got it done. He’s a nice horse,” remarked Hernandez.
It was the first win in the Real Good Deal Stakes for both rider and trainer. Hernandez has 19 stakes wins at Del Mar while Mandella is fifth among trainers with 72.
For the ninth straight time, players in the track’s Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot wager couldn’t tab all half dozen and the track’s carryover in the bet rose to $608,414. There is a “mandatory” payout on the wager tomorrow, which means those with the most winners will get a payout of the entire pool. If past form on these bets holds true, fans can expect $3- to $3.5- million to be added into the pool tomorrow chasing the big money.
First post Saturday is 2 p.m. The Pick Six will start on Race 6, which goes off at approximately 4:35 p.m.
Note: The Mandella-trained champion mare Beholder was inducted into the Racing Hall of Fame on Friday. Unfortulately, Mr. Mandella was unable to attend having recently recovered from Covid he was unable to travel to Saratoga. Congrats to Beholder and all of her humans. We wish Mr. Mandella good health.
DMTC Press Release
Photo by Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire