SORRENTO STAKES | PURSE: $150,000 | FILLIES | TWO-YEAR-OLDS | 6 1/2-FURLONGS
Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman's Executiveprivilege was sent off the 2-5 favorite in Wednesday's Grade 3, $150,000 Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar and easily lived up to her backers' expectations with a 1 1/4-length win over Speedinthruthecity. The bay daughter of First Samurai completed 6 1/2 furlongs on the Polytrack in 1:16 4/5 to remain perfect in three career starts.
Executiveprivilege vied for the lead early out of the gate, but jockey Rafael Bejarano got his juvenile mount to settle just off the pace of :22 2/5 and :46 set by Bares Tripper. That filly began to fade entering the turn, leaving the way clear for Renee's Titan on the inside and Executiveprivilege to move up.
Renee's Titan had contested the pace throughout and tired in the lane, but Executiveprivilege was still going strong as Speedinthruthecity put in her game rally down on the rail. The dark bay lass was forced to play second fiddle yet again, as she was just unable to catch the Bob Baffert-trained winner in a replay of the pair's finish in the July 14 Landaluce Stakes.
"When I worked her the other day (August 3 going five furlongs in 1:01 4/5), Baffert said 'not too much.' He wanted me to save something for today," Bejarano said. "She's a good filly and you can pretty much do what you want with her.
"Today she broke real sharp and I just let her run. Those other two fillies went in front of us, but that was OK. There was no rush. When I asked her to run, she ran. She's very good. We wanted to let her run late today. (Baffert) is wanting to get her ready for longer races. And I think she'll be fine with that. She can run."
Executiveprivilege was worth $2.80, $2.20 and $2.10 to her supporters, and the $90,000 winner's share boosted her career earnings to $210,000. Speedinthruthecity had 2 1/2 lengths to spare on Switch to the Lead, who just got her head in front of Renee's Titan on the wire. Somethingabouther came next, with Wittgenstein, O Happy Gray and Bares Tripper completing the order of finish after Serious was withdrawn.
"I was following the winner all the way," said Joe Talamo, who had piloting duties aboard Speedinthruthecity. "She went outside and I went in and my filly was running good on the fence. But I've got to take my hat off to the winner. She's a nice one. My filly, though, will like it farther. She'll be fine with that."
Executiveprivilege has more than earned back her initial sales price of $23,000 as a Keeneland September yearling, but is still working on the $650,000 paid for her as an OBS Spring Two-Year-Old in training. The juvenile miss opened her career with a romping 4 1/2-length maiden score at Hollywood Park on June 28 and added the Landaluce to her resume on July 14 by an easy 3 1/4 lengths over runner-up Speedinthruthecity.
"It was a nice race for her. We've been going easy with her down here," Baffert remarked. "She got a lot out of it, so it will set her up for the (Grade 1 Del Mar) Debutante (on September 1).
"She just trains herself. We just let her run around there in the mornings, we haven't really done a lot with her. She loves this surface, she loves dirt, Hollywood Park (Cushion Track) she didn't have any problem with it. She's really talented. Just a really good filly. I knew coming in here she was special and (Bejarano) rides her with a lot of confidence."
Bred in Kentucky by Betz/D.J. Stable/Kidder/J. Betz/Robenalt, Executiveprivilege is out of the Grade 2-placed Unaccounted For mare Refugee. Her third dam is renowned champion Davona Dale, who would go on to produce 1989 Belmont Stakes third Le Voyageur, stakes-placed winners Macau and Davona Gold, and the dam of Grade 2 victor Just a Cat. Davona Dale's stakes-winning half-sister Aly's Adita would herself foal 2006 Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap hero Seek Gold.
This female line also includes Grade/Group 1 stars Agincourt, Flying Snowdrop and Sparkling Gem, as well as 1984 Preakness Stakes-winning sire Gate Dancer.