Songbird, Irap and West Coast Victorious in Weekend’s Richest Races
There may be little value betting on the heavy favorites in horse racing, but it gives fans more enjoyment seeing their favorites win the richest races. Saturday’s results and weekend recap also showed that the big races bring out more fans, who in turn bet more on the races. Songbird (1-20) held on to win the $750,000 Delaware Handicap by a length for her 13th win in 14 starts. The $500,000 Indiana Derby was dominated by Irap (7-5) in a 5-length romp, while West Coast (6-5) took the $200,000 Los Alamitos Derby as the heavy 2-5 chalk.
Jockey Mike Smith had to ask his finest filly for a little more in the stretch as Songbird held off a challenge from Martini Glass.
“I was going to ask her to run and if she didn’t respond, there was going to be a whole lot of doubt,’’ Smith said. “She responded and we were OK…These races aren’t easy. These are the kind of races you get beat in, trust me.’’
Sonbird finished the DelCap in a final time of 2:03.96 and paid $2.10 across the board. She won the 9th Grade 1 race of her career, and it was a special one for Fox Hill Farm owner Rick Porter. He made it to his home state track after leaving a Massachusetts hospital on Thursday where he has been undergoing experimental cancer treatments to come home to Wilmington to see the best horse he’s ever had win his state’s biggest race.
There was $2.1 million bet in the win, place and show pools, $2 million of it on Songbird, nearly $1.6 million of that on her to show.
DelCap Race Replay.
The Indiana Derby was Irap’s second straight win and third of his career to boost the Tiznow colts earnings to $1,357,600. Irap dominated the Derby and ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.21. He paid $4.80, $3.20 and $2.60 in the Grade 3 race for 3-year-olds.
Indiana Grand reported record attendance of 13,622 and record handle of $3.581 million on Saturday’s 10-race program.
Indiana Derby Race Replay.
West Coast won his fourth race in six starts that includes a pair of runner-up finishes. He sat off the pace in a leisurely half-mile in the Los Alamitos Derby, and he was four lengths off the lead as the leaders made their way around the far turn. In mid-stretch of the 1 1/8 mile race, they were five across as West Coast rallied on the outside under urging from jockey Drayden Van Dyke, who was riding him for the first time. West Coast then gained an advantage and took off to draw clear under a snug hold late. The final time was 1:48.65 and West Coast paid $2.80 to win.
Saturday’s race was the last graded stakes race in Southern California for 3-year-olds on the dirt this season. West Coast will travel East next for the Travers Stakes at Saratoga on Aug. 26.
Los Alamitos Derby Race Replay.