Fine trio headlines Del Mar Debutante

Profile Picture: John Mucciolo

August 30th, 2018

Bellafina winning the Sorrento (c) Benoit Photo

Saturday’s $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1) drew just five but what it lacks in quantity, it sure makes up for with quality. A trio of the best-looking fillies at the meeting will square off in the exciting seven-furlong feature, which appears capable of having a major impact upon the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

Jerry Hollendorfer’s BRILL came in with a lot of hype for her opening-day debut and delivered. The $1 million yearling purchase got off slowly and was wide on July 18, but it didn’t matter as she beat a well-meant filly in fine fashion and posted a 99 BRIS Speed figure for her work.

The Medaglia d’Oro filly is not from the deepest family from a pedigree perspective, but Brill is an impressive specimen who moves especially well. She’s posted five morning drills at Del Mar to ready for this affair and I expect improvement off of her career bow. Drayden Van Dyke rides.

BELLAFINA recorded a runner-up finish at Los Alamitos on debut and showed marked improvement when cruising home impressively to conquer the Sorrento (G2) over this track. Simon Callaghan pupil registered a 101 BRIS Speed number and gets the ideal draw outside of a compact bunch with regular pilot Flavien Prat in the controls.

An $800,000 daughter of Quality Road filly, Bellafina is a full sister to multiple stakes hero Diamond King and her pedigree hints more ground will be to her liking. She blitzed a bullet five-eighths on this strip to signal her readiness for today.

It wouldn’t seem right to speak of a graded two-year-old event without mentioning conditioner Bob Baffert, a seven-time winner of the Del Mar Debutante. The dynamic trainer has enjoyed another strong meet with juveniles and will saddle MOTHER MOTHER, who romped with ultimate ease first time out. Her tally netted her a 98 BRIS Speed figure.

Mother Mother is a half-sister to 2014 Kentucky Derby (G1) runner-up Commanding Curve. She was a relative bargain compared to her counterparts when fetching $450,000 at Keeneland September and the May foal has trained swiftly since. But it’s worth note she loses Van Dyke, who opts to guide Brill today. The able Joe Talamo inherits the mount.

I still give a slight edge to Mother Mother. She looked so good first out and I don’t think she is a need-the-lead type.

Regardless of the result, I would not discount any of the top trio going forward. This could prove to be a special field.