Lord Prancealot goes all the way in the Graduation (Benoit Photo)
Del Mar Press Release
DEL MAR, Calif.— The bay colt Lord Prancealot was just too quick for seven California-bred rivals in the five-and-one-half furlong Graduation Stakes at Del Mar Friday as he hung on late under old pro Kent Desormeaux to capture the 72nd running of the $126,000 dash.
The Hall of Fame rider, who was winning his third race on the afternoon, had his gelded son of Sir Prancealot away quickly and in front all the way through fast splits of :21.87 and :45.12. His rivals were closing in stoutly inside the sixteenth pole, but Desormeaux had just enough in the tank to get home by a head in a final time of 1:04.59.
The winner is owned by Edward Brown and Jeff Ganje. Ganje is also the breeder.
Lovingier, London or Zondo’s Last Call London finished second, while Tom Halasz’s Mici’s Express was another three-quarters of a length back in third.
Lord Prancealot earned a first-place prize of $71,250 to increase his earnings to $120,450. He’d won his only other outing, a straight maiden affair against Cal-breds at Del Mar on July 29. Desormeaux was aboard that day, too.
Fractions were a sizzling first quarter of :21.87 with:45.12 and :57.65.
“He’s so quick. He surprised me the other day (his winning debut at Del Mar on July 29) just how quick he is. I wasn’t throwing any crosses at him today (turning for home); I was just holding him up. Can he run farther? I don’t know. I know he’s quick. I don’t know about the distance,” said Desormeaux.
Desormeaux was capturing his 89 stakes victory at Del Mar in the Graduation, ninth-most of all riders. It was trainer Jeff Bonde’s 17th local stakes tally.
“I know there was a lot of speed on paper in the race but he’s excellent from the gate, so when I saw the break, I thought we were in a good position to have a chance. (At the end) I was hoping the wire was coming real quick,” Bonde remarked.
Racing resumes at Del Mar Saturday with a first post of 2 p.m. There will be a guaranteed $1-million Pick Six pool that day to anyone who manages to take down the exotic bet as a single-ticket winner.