Grace Adler comes off the pace to score in Debutante; ‘Liam’s Dove flies to wire Filly Turf at Del Mar

September 6, 2021

DEL MAR, Calif.— Willow Grace Farm or Michael Lund Petersen’s Grace Adler came running late in the Grade I TVG Del Mar Debutante, then she went running right on by as she drew out to a galloping 11 1/4 length triumph in the 71st edition of Del Mar’s foremost race for 2-year-old fillies.

The daughter of Curlin staked a rapid early pace, then made her move on the turn in the seven-furlong affair and showed her heels to her seven rivals. She was handled by meet-leading rider Flavien Prat, one of four winners he had on the afternoon.

“No special instructions for me. Bob (trainer Baffert) just told me that she wasn’t as fast as the other fillies, but that she’d come running. He was certainly right. It might have looked like I moved too early with her, but it was more a case of them coming back to me. We were going forward, and they were coming back,” Prat recounted. 

Grace Adler, conditioned by Bob Baffert, earned $180,000 from the gross purse of $301,500, increasing her winnings to $222,000. She captured her only other start, a straight maiden race here on July 31. Baffert, far and away Del Mar’s leading trainer with 142 stakes wins, was taking down his 10th TVG Del Mar Debutante.

“I wasn’t happy with (Eda’s) position early because they were going way too fast up front. Grace Adler is a really good filly and when she started to make her move (from sixth) you could tell by Trevor Denman’s voice that she was really making up the ground. They’re both good fillies, it’s just too bad that (Eda) got caught up in a speed duel. It was set up for (Grace Adler),” Baffert commented. 

The stakes win was the 12th of the meet for rider Prat and third for Baffert. Baffert won his 10th TVG Del Mar Debutante. With 142 stakes wins at Del Mar, Baffert has the most wins of any trainer at Del Mar. Prat now has 72 stakes wins at Del Mar

Finishing second was Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Dance to the Music, two and three-quarter lengths ahead of Calvin Nguyen’s Bicameral.

Grace Adler returned $11.20, $4.80 and $4.20 for her score. Dance to the Music paid $5.00 and $4.20, while Bicameral returned $10.00 for the show.

Splits in the race were :21.78, :44.37, 1:10.75 with a final time of 1:23.76.

Liam’s Dove wires the Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf under Kyle Frey. (Benoit Photos)

Earlier on the day’s program, Gary Barber’s Liam’s Dove pulled off a shocker by leading from start to finish and hanging on for a head victory in the $103,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf under Kyle Frey.

The daughter of Liam’s Map ran the one mile on the green in 1:36.65 and bested 10 other 2-year-old fillies in the 10th running of the race. She is trained by Peter Miller.

Finishing second was Benowitz Family Trust, CYBT or Nentwig, et al’s Helens Well, the 3-1 race favorite, and third was Hronis Racing’s Dolly May.

Liam’s Dove, a maiden making the third start of her career, returned $71.80, $27.20 and $12.60 for her score. Helens Well paid $5.00 and $3.60, while Dolly May returned $5.60 to show.

The victory was Miller’s 24 of the stand on its 30th day of racing. He’s the track’s current leading trainer and will be crowned its 2021 champion tomorrow, his eighth overall at the shore oval.

Racing will conclude at Del Mar tomorrow, Labor Day Monday. There will be a $694,803 carryover in its Pick Six Single Ticket Jackpot wager and a “mandatory” payout for the day. First post will be 1:30 p.m.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Press Release

Photo: Grace Adler and jockey Flavien Prat, right, lead the way to the finish line for victory in the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Debutante Sunday, September 5, 2021, at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, CA. Benoit Photo

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