Restrainedvengence, an 11-1 longshot ridden by Evin Roman, forged to the lead in the final strides to win the featured $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds on opening-day of the 2018 summer Thoroughbred racing season.
Always well-placed in the one-mile contest over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course, Restrainedvengence was swung to the outside for the stretch drive by Roman and responded generously to overhaul another 11-1 outsider, Afleet Ascent, and win by three-quarters of a length in 1:35.37 for the distance.
Calexman, who set the early pace, was third, a half-length behind the runner-up and the same margin in front of fourth-place Desert Stone in the field of 14 runners. Texas Wedge, the 5-2 favorite in a wide-open betting contest, was seventh. Withdrawn from the race were Soltero and Risky Proposition.
Restrainedvengence, trained by Val Brinkerhoff and owned by Kelly Brinkerhoff and Bobby Grayson, Jr., is a Kentucky-bred son of Hold Me Back. The victory was his third in eight starts and first money of $60,000 increased the gelding’s earnings to $143,670.
“It’s very uplifting because my partner Bob Grayson had two kinds of cancer, he’s been taking chemotherapy all winter and I think this horse saved his life,” Brinkerhoff said. “We knew this horse had some talent. This is the race we’ve been looking forward to all year and we got it.”
“I’m lucky I got the opportunity to ride this horse. I appreciate it,” said Roman. “He was in a good spot; all the way. Then he finished strong. He felt good at the finish; like he could run farther.”
The stakes win was the first ever in the Oceanside for Roman and his second ever at Del Mar. It’s his first as a journeyman rider. (Previous Del Mar stakes score: CTBA Stakes on Show It N Moe It in 2017)
The stakes win was the first in the Oceanside for Brinkerhoff and his second ever at Del Mar. (Green Flash with Raetodandty in 2011).
The winner paid $24.80, $14.20 and $8.80. Runner-up Afleet Ascent returned $12.60 and $8.40, while Calexman paid $5.40 to show.
Trainers Doug O’Neill and Jerry Hollendorfer dominated the program through the first seven races. O’Neill, a three-time leading conditioner at Del Mar who holds the record most wins in a day, five, at the seaside track, won four races – the first, second, fourth and fifth, while Hollendorfer-trained horses accounted for the third, sixth and seventh.
Mario Gutierrez and J. Paul Reddam were jockey and owner, respectively, for three of O’Neill’s winners – Jimmy Chila in the second, Dichotomy in the fourth and Ann Arbor Eddie in the fifth.
Hollendorfer unveiled a talented filly, Brill, a $1 million Fasig-Tipton July purchase as a yearling, in the seventh race which the daughter of Medaglia d’Oro won in a fast 57.86 for five furlongs as the 3-5 favorite in her debut under silks for Lawrence Best’s OXO Equine.
Today’s attendance was 33,112 and pari mutuel handle totaled $16,131,880, up 14 per cent from opening-day in 2017.
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