DEL MAR, Calif. – Mr. and Mrs. Larry D. Williams’ homebred mare Pulpit Rider looped the field and came with a rush to get up in the final jump over Sedamar and capture the 27th edition of the $125,000 Solana Beach Stakes by a nose.
Piloted by Juan Hernandez, the 5-year-old daughter of the late California sire Lucky Pulpit enjoyed a better outcome to her efforts in the one mile turf race in 2019. She finished second that day but was disqualified back to sixth.
“She broke a little slow, so I didn’t rush with her. She was nice and relaxed, so I felt OK. I waited until the quarter pole and then I asked her. She gave me a good kick,” jockey Hernandez recounted.
“We had to go wide; we had no choice. But she was running. I looked over right at the wire and I saw we won. Close, but we got it.”
The stakes win was the first of the meet for rider Hernandez and his first in the Solana Beach. He now has four stakes wins at Del Mar.
Saddled by Mike Puype, Pulpit Rider scored her first win since taking the Campanile Stakes at Golden Gate in April 2018. She received a $71,250 winner’s share of the purse increasing her career earnings to $462,677. As the longest shot in the field, she paid $24.80, $8.60 and $3.40.
“A great ride. She kind of likes to ease out and get in the middle of the track in her races and I was a little worried for awhile about the fractions. But she always runs her best here at Del Mar and she came running. She was much the best last year when she got DQed but she ran a great race today,” Puype said.
The final time for the filly-mare test for California-breds was 1:34.05 with fractions of :23.01, :45.98, 1:10.32 and 1:22.31. Pulpit Rider was awarded an Equibase Speed Figure of 115 for her trip.
“Hats off to her for digging for it and hats off to Juan (Hernandez) for a great ride. There’s not enough time to run her here again this meet but we’ll show up in November,” Puype added.
Getting his first stakes win of the meet, it was conditioner Puype’s second win in the Solana Beach scoring with Chati’s On Top in 2015. It was his 11th stakes win at Del Mar.
Finishing second was Ruis Racing’s Sedamar and third was race favorite Mucho Unusual, who races for George Krikorian. Cordiality and Kitty Boom Boom complete the order of the finish.
The riding aces for the afternoon were Flavien Prat and Ricardo Gonzalez, each with three wins. Prat assumed the lead in the jockeys’ race with his triple and now has 27 firsts after 15 days of racing. Gonzalez pushed his total to nine wins and is now seventh in the jockey standings.
2020 Solana Beach Replay
Racing continues Sunday with an 11 race card featuring the CTT and CTO Stakes for fillies and mares 3-year-olds and up at 1-3/8 miles on turf. (Race 10, post time 6:25 p.m. PT). A field of 10 competes including Simon Callahan trained Maximum Rate, the favorite at 7/2 under jockey Umberto Rispoli.
First post is 2 p.m. PT, 5:00 p.m. ET
Del Mar Entries for Sunday, August 16.
Edited Press Release
Photo: Pulpit Rider (Outside) Credit: Benoit Photo