American Cleopatra tops Del Mar Debutante

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Jen Caldwell

August 31st, 2016

A field of seven has been entered in Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1) going seven furlongs, but all eyes will be on one filly making her stakes bow in the race.

That filly would be American Cleopatra, a full sister to Triple Crown champion American Pharoah who broke her maiden at first asking on July 31.

The Pioneerof the Nile filly races for the same connections as American Pharoah – owner/breeder Zayat Stables – and is trained by her older brother’s conditioner – Bob Baffert. The only difference is she’s ridden by Rafael Bejarano, who takes over from Stewart Elliott after that Kentucky Derby-winning jockey piloted the bay lass to a two-length victory going 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar in her first race.

American Cleopatra wore blinkers in her initial start but Baffert is taking them off for her stakes debut.

Lining up against American Cleopatra are six other juvenile fillies, including Champagne Room.

That Peter Eurton charge ran second in her racing bow before breaking her maiden with a 1 1/4-length victory in the Sorrento Stakes (G2) on August 6 at Del Mar. The bay daughter of Broken Vow will be ridden once again by Mario Gutierrez as she tries to make it two graded wins in a row.

Miss Southern Miss ran second in the Sorrento, one race after another runner-up effort in the Landaluce Stakes at Santa Anita Park. The Keith Desormeaux-trained lass broke her maiden at Santa Anita Park by 3 1/4 lengths on June 9, and keeps Kent Desormeaux in the irons for this one.

Morganite took her July 16 debut, beating Champagne Room by 1 1/2 lengths that day for trainer John Sadler. Victor Espinoza was aboard and takes back the mount as the Gemologist filly tries winners for the first time here.

Noted and Quoted just broke her maiden by 9 1/2 lengths last out on August 7 at Del Mar, while Holy Mosey did the same on August 4 by a half-length. Union Strike, runner-up most recently in her July 31 bow, completes the Del Mar Debutante field.

American Cleopatra photo courtesy of Benoit Photos