Vasilika Tops Field for Saturday’s John C. Mabee at Del Mar

(Vasilika winning at Santa Anita / Photo Courtesy of Santa Anita)

From the Del Mar Media Team:

Kicking off the final weekend of the 2019 summer racing season, Del Mar will present an attractive stakes doubleheader Saturday, featuring the Grade II $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes for older fillies and mares and the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante for two-year-old fillies.

First post time for the first of ten races is 2 p.m.

Vasilika, a winner of 17 of 33 races and $1.3 million, figures to be a solid betting favorite in the Mabee at nine furlongs on Del Mar’s infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Flavien Prat has the mount on Vasilika, the race’s defending champion who is topweighted at 123 pounds.

Vasilika’s nine rivals are Paved, Victor Espinoza; La Force, Mike Smith; Toinette, Rafael Bejarano; Ahimsa, Brice Blanc; Ippodamia’s Girl, Ruben Fuentes; Juliet Foxtrot, Drayden Van Dyke; Quebec, Norberto Arroyo, Jr.; Elysea’s World, Joe Talamo, and Meal Ticket, Kent Desormeaux.

Eight talented juvenile fillies are entered in the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante which will decide the division’s leader this summer. They are Lazy Daisy, Bejarano; Comical, Arroyo; Pure Xena, Aaron Gryder; Leucothea, Cedillo; Bast, Van Dyke; Powerfulattraction, Talamo; Inspiressa, Espinoza, and Stellar Sound, Smith.

Likely favorite on the basis of a most impressive maiden victory is Inspiressa from the red-hot barn of trainer John Sadler. Also sure to gain support are Leucothea and Pure Xena.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds

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