Closing Remarks victorious in the Yellow Ribbon (Benoit Photo)
Del Mar Press Release
DEL MAR, Calif.— Harris Farms’ homebred mare Closing Remarks took advantage of a ground-saving rider by Umberto Rispoli to come away with a neck victory Saturday at Del Mar in the $251,000 Yellow Ribbon Handicap in the first of two graded stakes on the 10-race card.
The winner, a California-bred by the late stallion Vronsky, stayed close throughout the mile and one-sixteenth grass feature, then drove hard through the lane to prove a neck best at the finish. The 5-year-old chestnut, who is trained by Carla Gaines, captured the fifth victory in the 21st start of her career and picked up a first prize of $150,000 to bring her career earnings to $711,320.
“Being on the rail obviously, basically, what you want to do is get the best out of it. I was trying to get her in a nice position. I knew Ganadora was going to be on the lead. The best was going to be a matter of finding a way to go at the top of the stretch. I think she (Closing Remarks) has been very alive her past couple of races,” Rispoli said.
“Today she improved and can compete with those horses. A huge win for Mr. Harris. Carla (trainer Gaines) gives a good prep in the morning and well done to the team.”
Finishing second was Nentwig, Beast Mode Racing and CYBT’s Spirit And Glory, who was a length and a quarter better than third-place finisher Ganadora, owned by Baoma Corp.
Closing Remarks, who went off the 23-10 favorite in the field of seven, returned $6.60 to her backers in the Grade II feature. She ran the mile and one-sixteenth in 1:42.01 in this, the 71st edition of the stakes.
“Umberto (Rispoli) is the best. If there is any space he’s going to get through and that’s what he did. In grass racing you always want to save ground and he’s a master at it, so I just left it up to him. She didn’t have to make up quite as much ground as in her previous races and she loves this turf course,” Gaines commented.
The stakes win was the fourth of the meet for rider Rispoli, but the first for trainer Gaines. Gaines was registering her first victory in the Yellow Ribbon, but her 18th overall in stakes at the shore oval. Rispoli now has 22 wins in Del Mar stakes, including his score in this same race last year aboard Going Global.
The track’s Pick Six wager, which had a guaranteed $1-million payout for any single-ticket winner Saturday, was not hit, meaning its $373,278 carryover will go into tomorrow’s “mandatory payout” day for the popular wager. A potential final prize in the $3-million-plus range is surely possible for the bet on Sunday, which all will be paid out to those with the most number of winners with no carryovers involved.
Racing is back and running at Del Mar Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. The Pick Six wager will be on races 5 through 10.