Blue Stripe takes $400,000, Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes
Jockey Hector Berrios raised his fist in victory after winning the $400,000, Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes aboard Blue Stripe on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Del Mar (pictured above).
The pair stalked the pace setters and took the lead in the upper stretch, finishing 1 3/4 lengths ahead of Desert Dawn at the wire. Race favorite Shedaresthedevil - who won the 2020 Kentucky Oaks - was a head behind Desert Dawn.
Blue Stripe covered the 1 1/16 miles on the dirt surface in 1:42.97.
“We talked about where she’s going to be (during the race) because they scratched two horses and we had to change (tactics) a little bit,” trainer Marcelo Polanco said. “We had her a little closer than we had before. Lucky everything worked. You know where we’re going … Keeneland (for the Breeders’ Cup).”
The Clement L. Hirsch was a “Win and You’re In” race, so Blue Stripe will be an automatic entrant in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Longines Distaff in November.
In the following race that afternoon - the $152,500 California Dreamin’ Stakes - Carmelita’s Man prevailed by a head over Bang for Your Buck and The Chosen Vron in a “blanket” finish.
The rest of the stakes winners last weekend were Cabo Spirit (Grade III, $150,500 La Jolla Handicap), Big City Lights ($176,000 Real Good Deal Stakes) and Chismosa ($126,000 California Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association Stakes).
Upcoming events at Del Mar include the Uncorked Wine Festival on Aug. 13. Tickets are $25-$80; go to dmtc.com
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