(Order and Law wins the G3 Cougar II Stakes at Del Mar / Benoit Photo & Courtesy of Del Mar Turf Club)

From the Del Mar Turf Club Media Team:

The veteran ridgling Order and Law proved best by two and a quarter lengths under veteran rider Kent Desormeaux in capturing Sunday’s feature Cougar II Stakes, a Grade III testing at the demanding distance of a mile and one half.

The 7-year-old ran the 12 furlongs in 2:32.35 and pulled away late to turn back six rivals in the 72nd edition of the stakes. He earned a first prize of $75,000 from the gross purse of $126,000. The son of Violence was making his 42nd start in the race and won for the eighth time, increasing his earnings mark to $456,804.

Order and Law is owned by an extended partnership that consists of Larry Buckendorf, Jeff Lambert, Lawrence Rodriguez, Paul Schneider, Peter Stotland and Matthew White.

Finishing second in the Cougar II was Pegram, Watson and Weitman’s Azul Coast, who had three and a quarter lengths on B-4 Farms’ Bye Bye Bobby.

The Cougar II victory was the third in the race by old pro Desormeaux. It was the first for trainer Hess, Jr.

Later in the card in the $100,000 Wickerr Stakes, Baffert and Lanni’s Du Jour came running late along the fence under Juan Hernandez to prove best in the one-mile turf test by a half length. The Temple City gelding paid $11.60 for the win.

Racing will now take a break after completing its opening weekend. Del Mar will be back in action on Thursday with an eight-race card starting at 2 p.m.

KENT DESORMEAUX (Order and Law, winner) – “He galloped. I don’t mean he was galloping. He galloped. He won this one easy. No special instructions from Bob (trainer Bob Hess, Jr.). We go back a long way. We’ve won a bunch of races together and I’ve got a great rapport with him. He just said ‘Meet you in the winner’s circle.”

ROBERT HESS, JR. (Order and Law, winner) – “He does tend to hang a touch but by the eighth pole I thought we were golden. But you never know until the wire. Thank you, Kent Desormeaux. He loves the mile and a half, probably needs farther. I got to run back here before the end of the meet because this is his track…and my track.”

RACTIONS:  :24.86  :45.59  1:14.82  1:40.20  2:05.68  2:32.35

The stakes win was the first of the meet for both rider and trainer.

The victory in the Cougar II is the third in the race for Desormeaux. He now has 88 stakes wins at Del Mar, ninth most among all riders.

The victory in the Cougar was a first for Hess, Jr. He now has 13 stakes wins at Del Mar.

The winning owners were Larry Buckendorf, Jeff Lambert, Lawrence Rodriguez, Paul Schneider, Peter Stotland and Matthew White.