Songbird soars to Del Mar Debutante victory

Profile Picture: Jen Caldwell

Jen Caldwell

September 6th, 2015

Songbird proved too much for Pretty N Cool in Saturday’s $301,250 Del Mar Debutante, easily dueling that rival into submission during the stretch run and crossing under the wire 5 1/4 lengths the best.

The seven-furlong contest essentially turned into a match race between the two juveniles fillies. Pretty N Cool broke from the 3 post while Songbird flew out of her far outside stall. The duo immediately hooked up and proceeded to battle it out through fractions of :22.33, :44.84 and 1:09.81.

It was still nip/tuck between Songbird and Pretty N Cool to her inside entering the stretch, but that changed as jockey Mike Smith gave Songbird a tap and the dark bay lass took off. She glided clear and continued motoring to finish up in 1:22.65 over the fast main track.

Pretty N Cool was game while suffering her first loss in this spot. The gray miss had no problem taking her debut by 4 1/2 lengths on July 19 and returned August 31 to add the Sorrento S. (G2) to her resume.

Despite Pretty N Cool’s accomplishments, the filly was still sent off the 2-1 second choice to Songbird’s even-money favoritism in the Del Mar Debutante. That Jerry Hollendorfer trainee made her debut last out on July 26 and turned the six-furlong contest into a procession when romping by 6 1/2 lengths.

Songbird still has a lot to prove but has gotten off to the right start. Her next big challenge will be to stretch out.

Santa Anita’s 1 1/16-mile Chandelier S. (G1) will probably come up too quickly in three weeks to be considered a viable option. A much better choice would be for the Medaglia d’Oro miss to ship to Keeneland for the October 2 Alcibiades S. (G1) going the same 8 1/2 furlongs as the Chandelier.

Not only is the Alcibiades a “Win & You’re In” contest, but it will give Songbird valuable experience on the very track the Juvenile Fillies will be run over.

Earlier on Del Mar’s Saturday card, Hollywood Don rallied three wide into the stretch of the $101,500 Del Mar Juvenile Turf and pulled away to record a 1 1/2-length victory under jockey Brice Blanc. The Peter Miller pupil finished a mile on the firm turf in 1:35.46 to earn his second straight score after breaking his maiden on August 12 over course and distance.

Songbird photo courtesy of Benoit Photos