Catch a Flight soars to San Diego ‘Cap winner’s circle
On Saturday, the Richard Mandella trainee continued his ascent when rallying for a close, just there head victory in the San Diego H. (G2) at Del Mar.
The 1 1/16-mile race featured a duo of Bob Baffert pupils – Bayern and Hoppertunity – who were expected to be duking it out. Bayern headed straight to the front while Hoppertunity settled into his spot stalking in midpack.
Meanwhile, Catch a Flight was doing some stalking of his own well behind the top two. While Bayern and Appealing Tale battled it out up front through splits of :24.06, :47.80 and 1:11.30, Catch a Flight and jockey Gary Stevens were waiting for just the right moment to fire.
That moment came in the stretch after Appealing Tale had managed to gain a slim advantage over Bayern. The Peter Miller charge didn’t hold that advantage for long, though, as Catch a Flight flew down the center of the fast main track to finish up in 1:43.08.
Bayern followed Appealing Tale by 1 1/4 lengths, but was bearing out badly and interfered with Hoppertunity, who was coming hard to his outside and just missed third by a nose.
Catch a Flight sandwiched wins in the Californian S. (G2) and Precisionist S. (G3) between third-placed runs in the Santa Anita H. (G1) and Gold Cup at Santa Anita S. (G1).
Also Group 1-placed in Brazil, the five-year-old bay is probably headed to the $1 million Pacific Classic S. (G1) next out on August 11.
Catch a Flight photo courtesy of Benoit Photos