Fashion Business Romps in G2 Del Mar Handicap

(Fashion Business wins Del Mar Handicap / Benoit Photo Courtesy of Del Mar)

From the Del Mar Media Team:

Given the signal to go by jockey Flavien Prat with approximately three furlongs  to travel, Fashion Business swept by his competition in less than a sixteenth of a mile with a devastating move which propelled him to the lead and ultimately to a brilliant triumph in the Grade II $250,000 Del Mar Handicap Saturday.

Fashion Business, owned by Little Red Feather Racing and Marsha Naify and trained by Phil D’Amato, was unthreatened through the stretch as he hit the wire five and one-quarter lengths in front in 2:13.84 for the mile and three-eighths marathon over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Runner-up was 45-1 longshot Ya Gotta Wanna, with Multiplier third and Colonist fourth in the field of eleven grass runners. Itsinthepost, the 5-2 favorite, was seventh. Withdrawn from the race was Ritzy A.P.

Fashion Business, an English-bred  four-year-old son of Frankel, scored his third win in a dozen starts and first money of $150,000 increased his earnings to $283,885. Sent postward the 4-1 second choice, the winner paid $10.20, $5.80 and $4.20. Ya Gotta Wanna, who was ridden by Tiago Pereira, returned $35 and $13.40, while third-place Multiplier paid $4.80.

The Del Mar Handicap was a supporting feature on the day of the 28th running of the Grade I $1 million Pacific Classic.

FLAVIEN PRAT (Fashion Business, winner) – “On the backside I could tell they were going slow and I went a little wide around there. I know it takes a little time to go around. I just kept digging in and he just finished. I had a pretty clean trip.”

TIAGO PEREIRA (Ya Gotta Wanna, second) – “Pace a little slow. When I pushed to the outside he picked it up and he came strong down the stretch.”

TYLER GAFFALIONE (Multiplier, third) – “I got a little wide around there, but the post position didn’t help. He ran a very game race and finished up good.”

PHIL D’AMATO (Fashion Business, winner) – “I thought he was going to come running. I think Flavien (Prat) just sensed they were going so slow it was a now or never type move. His race at Belmont was actually way better than it looked. He was in a blanket finish and then the horse that finished behind him came back and won the Arlington Million. So it was a very productive race. The last race (Eddie Read Stakes) — the mile and an eighth — we used as a prep for this race and it just worked out perfect.”

That’s very, very special to do it at Tampa Bay,” an emotional O’Connell said after Well Defined’s two-and-three-quarter length victory from a charging Kentucky Wildcat in 1:42.70 for the mile-and-a-sixteenth, .26 seconds off 2018 winner Flameaway’s stakes record. So Alive finished a distant third, with the 19-10 favorite, Knicks Go, getting nipped for fourth at the wire by Counter Offer.

“He’s had little things that have happened and he’s grown up mentally and physically, and today he showed up with his game face on,” O’Connell said of the Florida-bred Well Defined, a son of With Distinction by Fru Fru, out of Medaglia d’Oro. “I like this horse a lot and the decision (on what’s next) will be up to the owners (Gilbert and Marilyn Campbell’s Stonehedge, LLC), but we just want him healthy. Maybe the (Grade II, $400,000 Lambholm South Tampa Bay Derby on March 9) – who knows.”

“His rear end slipped out from underneath him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile,” she said, “and he was compromised on early position when he ran in the Mucho Macho Man and got bottled up inside. He’s a young horse who is improving, mind-wise and everything-wise.”

  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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