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Prince Early Wins Del Mar Mile 

Prince Early made his impressive return to win the $200,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap (G2) on Sunday.

The Old Bones Racing Stable and Todd Marshall’s horse broke from the rail under jockey Geovanni Franco. He came into the race at 9/1 odds, and he stayed in the middle with opening fractions of :23.20, :46.46, and 1:09.63. Once the field of horses straightened out, that’s when Prince Early took his shot and challenged the lead.

In the mid-stretch, he moved up between horses. He made it through the opening and moved forward to take the lead. The horse, trained by Phil D’Amato, finished the race 3/4 of a length ahead in the mile-long firm turf event. He finished with a final time of 1:300.13.

Franco spoke about the horse’s performance after the race.

“Phil said, ‘He’s going to run big; just be patient,’” Franco said. “I had the good post to save ground on the grass, and it worked out just that way. He was very responsive to me all the way around. When I asked him, he had a nice kick. It was a lovely ride.”

The Rest of the FIeld

Second place was a photo finish that was taken by Sharp Samurai. He finished a nose ahead of Grecian Fire. The Kilroe Mile Stakes (G1) winner, Ohio, came in fourth, 3/4 of a length behind.
Jockey Joseph Talamo spoke about Sharp Samurai’s second-place finish.

“I had a perfect trip. Sat behind the leaders, then he cut it loose in the lane. I thought I was going to win it there for a bit, but could only get second.”

As for Grecian Fire coming in third, jockey Kent Desormeaux said, “I could have used some climate control. We were in tight all the way, and the horse outside me pushed me down inside for most of the trip. Other than that, it was good.”

Bowies Hero entered the race as the 7/5 favorite, but he steadied himself between horses before falling back and finishing fifth.

Majestic Eagle moved up from the back and eventually passed up What a View to finish sixth, while the rest of the field was completed by Bolo, Double Touch, and El Picaro, in that order.
Bombard was a scratch on the day.

Prince Earl’s Year

This was Prince Earl’s first win since an allowance victory at the same track on Sept. 1 of last year. His overall record now sits at 5-3-0-0. Two of his losses were from the Let it Ride Stakes and the Hollywood Derby (G1).

Prince Earl was bred in California and is four years old. He is the son of Paddy O’Prado, and he was purchased for $25,000 as a yearling. The horse’s current earnings are now at $224,778.

“I thought a lot of him as a 3-year-old,” D’Amato said. “He had some unlucky trips in some pretty strong races his last two as a 3-year-old. We gave him plenty of time off, did a minor throat procedure on him, and he’s come back with a vengeance as a 4-year-old. We decided to take a big shot here and got a great ride by Geovanni Franco.”

Prince Earl paid $21.60 to win, $11 to place, and $7.60 to show. Sharp Samurai came in second to pay $6.80 to place and $4.40 to show, while Grecian Fire returned $6.40 to show.

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