Defying his reputation, Ladies Din was a dream ride for Kent Desormeaux in the $300,000 Del Mar Derby on Monday.
"He was a complete gentleman," said Desormeaux, who was aboard Ladies Din for the first time. "He did everything right."
While minding his manners, Ladies Din--the 2-1 favorite--completed a sweep of Del Mar's series of turf races for 3-year-olds, winning a division of the Oceanside Stakes and the La Jolla Handicap before the Derby.
Only Lightning Mandate in 1974 had won all three races with the Oceanside and La Jolla run on the main track.
Ladies Din gave trainer Julio Canani his second victory in the Derby and his fourth stakes win of the meeting. And, in the closing-day $125,000 Palomar Handicap on Wednesday, he has Tuzla, the 7-5 morning line favorite
Ladies Din, who has pulled hard in some of his races and was disqualified after winning the Precisionist Handicap last fall at Hollywood Park, was kept in the clear by Desormeaux in the Derby. He took the lead with about a furlong to go and went on to win by two lengths in 1:48 2/5 for the 1 1/8 miles. Expressionist, the 7-2 third choice, was second, three-quarters of a length in front of 17-1 shot and pacesetter Scooter Brown.
"[Desormeaux] rode him perfect," said Canani. "He used his own judgment. He said it was the easiest race he's won this meeting. He had a lot of a horse left." "
Trainer Bob Baffert will try to sweep Del Mar's main races for 2-year-olds for the second consecutive year when he sends out Worldly Manner in the $250,000 Del Mar Futurity on Wednesday.
Baffert, who is also trying to win his second title in a row at Del Mar, won the Debutante with Vivid Angel and the Futurity with Souvenir Copy last year, and he won this year's Debutante with Excellent Meeting on Aug. 29.
Worldly Manner, coupled in the betting with the unbeaten Daring General, has won two of three starts. In his most recent race, he won the Best Pal Stakes over this track by five lengths. Desormeaux will ride Worldly Manner and the entry is 3-5 on the morning line.
Completing the field for the seven-furlong race are Old Tango, Remote Controller, Waki American, Hidden City and Prenuptual Deal
Old Tango will be making his U.S. debut after winning twice in five starts in England, Hidden City has won two of three in Kentucky and New York for trainer Wayne Lukas and Prenuptual Deal won his only start at Del Mar on Aug. 8.
Horse Racing Notes
Rock N Roll, a 5-1 shot, led all the way to win the $250,000 Pennsylvania Derby Monday at Philadelphia Park. Herberto Castillo Jr. rode the winner for trainer Bill Mott and owners Madeleine Paulson and Jenny Craig. The final time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:47 3/5. Tomorrows Cat was second and Black Blade third. . . . Controlled, the 3-5 choice, beat Argentina Avenue by two lengths in 1:03 3/5 for the 5 1/2 furlongs in winning the $111,500 Generous Portion Stakes at Del Mar. Corey Nakatani was aboard for trainer Ed Gregson and owner Edward Hand and it was the 11th stakes win of the meeting for the jockey. He'll have three chances on Wednesday to tie or break the Del Mar record of 12 held by Laffit Pincay Jr. (1976), Chris McCarron (1995) and Gary Stevens (1997). . . . The total Pick Six pool, with Del Mar guaranteeing $2.5 million, was $3,516,480. There were 916 tickets with six winners, each worth $2,258.80.