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Adare Manor Outlasts Desert Dawn in Clement L. Hirsch

Adare Manor  has always had the class to add a grade 1 race to her resume, and so it came as little surprise when she pulled it off as the 3-5 favorite in the Aug. 5 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1) at Del Mar. Trainer Bob Baffert has called her a “big, long-striding filly,” and she used that talent to overhaul front-running Elm Drive .

Elm Drive had the speed to try to steal the 1 1/16-mile Hirsch, something Baffert was well aware of when he worked Adare Manor six furlongs in 1:10 3/5 at Del Mar July 30. The trainer said that he advised jockey Juan Hernandez not to let Elm Drive get too far ahead in the early stages of the race.

“I knew the one (Elm Drive) is a really fast filly,” Baffert said. “You want to stay close to her.”

The Hirsch was Hernandez’s only mount on the Del Mar card because the rider is serving a three-day suspension (Aug. 5, 6, and 10). As a designated race, the Hirsch was exempt from the suspension.

Baffert entered Adare Manor and grade 1 winner Fun to Dream  in the Hirsch, facing 2023 Monrovia Stakes (G3) winner Elm Drive, 2022 Santa Anita Oaks (G2) winner Desert Dawn  (second in last year’s Hirsch), and La Canada Stakes (G3) winner Kirstenbosch .

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As Baffert anticipated, Elm Drive sped off to the early lead, with jockey Ricardo Gonzalez settling Elm Drive into fractions of :23.31 for the first quarter-mile and :46.68 for the half-mile. Hernandez had Adare Manor a length and a half back, in ideal stalking position.

“I just have to help her out of the gate because she was a little slow out of the gate today,” Hernandez said. “But by the first turn she found a nice rhythm. I let her be quiet a little bit and save her energy.”

Adare Manor tightened it up around the second turn and took the lead near the sixteenth pole.

“At the quarter pole I asked her to pick it up and she exploded again to the wire,” Hernandez said. “She’s a big filly; sometimes it takes a couple jumps to keep her momentum.”

Desert Dawn ramped up from last and closed ground well. It wasn’t enough to catch Adare Manor, who scored by a length in 1:43.33, but Desert Dawn finished 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Elm Drive for her second consecutive placing in the race. Kirstenbosch ran fourth, followed by Fun to Dream, who had raced in third early.

In addition to notching her first grade 1 victory, Adare Manor earned a “Win & You’re In” berth to the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1) in the Hirsch, which is named for the late co-founder of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The 2022 Hirsch winner, Blue Stripe , lost last year’s Distaff by just a nose to champion Malathaat .

The Hirsch increases Adare Manor’s current win streak to four. She began 2023 following a 4 1/2-month layoff to finish second in a seven-furlong allowance/optional claimer Feb. 18 at Santa Anita. She returned March 31 to win a one-mile allowance/optional claimer and then picked off the April 29 Santa Maria Stakes (G2) and Santa Margarita Stakes (G2) before the Southern California circuit moved to Del Mar. 

The Hirsch is Adare Manor’s fourth lifetime stakes win. She annihilated the field in the 2022 Las Virgenes Stakes (G3) by 13 lengths before finishing second by just a neck to Desert Dawn in the Santa Anita Oaks and then getting another second in the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (G2). Those two seconds came when Adare Manor was trained by others while Baffert was serving a suspension.

Baffert said going into the Hirsch that Adare Manor was training well.

“She’s a big, quiet filly,” the trainer said. “She has so much class and a great mind, and to get a grade 1 in her is really fantastic. She’s just a big pet around the barn.”

Baffert trains Adare Manor, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Uncle Mo  Brooklynsway , by Giant Gizmo , for owner Michael Lund Petersen. Bloodstock agent Donato Lanni bought the filly from the Julie Davies consignment for $375,000 at the 2021 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company June 2-year-old sale.

It was the third sale the filly had gone through. Bred by Town & Country Horse Farms and Gary Broad, she first appeared at the 2020 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky February mixed sale in the Taylor Made Sales Agency consignment, selling for $180,000 to Walmac Farms and Broad. She then was a $190,000 RNA at that year’s Fasig-Tipton Selected Yearling Showcase before going on to the OBS sale.

Baffert was winning his second Hirsch, following Fighting Mad  in 2020. Though he has won 18 Breeders’ Cup World Championship events, the trainer has yet to win the Distaff. He saddled 3-year-old Abel Tasman  to finish second in the 2017 Distaff by a half-length to 5-year-old Forever Unbridled . Abel Tasman went on to be voted the year’s champion 3-year-old filly.

Video: Clement L. Hirsch S. (G1)


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