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Dua Poised to Give Baffert Eighth Sorrento

The fact that Bob Baffert has done well in the Sorrento Stakes (G3) at Del Mar isn’t surprising—he dominates many Southern California graded stakes. But his record sending 2-year-old fillies from the Sorrento to the Del Mar Debutante (G1) is well worth noting: With the six of his seven Sorrento winners who returned in the Debutante, Baffert has won the grade 1 race three times and finished second twice.

Baffert’s ammunition this year is Dua , a $400,000 yearling purchase who in her only start broke her maiden at Del Mar by a half-length. Zedan Racing Stables owns Dua, a daughter of Arrogate , the champion Baffert trainee who was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. With only three crops before his untimely death in 2020, Arrogate has sired the likes of 2023 Belmont Stakes (G1) winner Arcangelo  and last year’s Debutante winner, And Tell Me Nolies .

Dua, to be ridden by Juan Hernandez from post 3, will try to join Pretty N Cool , Executiveprivilege , Inspiring , Chilukki , Silverbulletday , Batroyale , and Soviet Sojourn  as Sorrento winners trained by Baffert. Executiveprivilege, Chilukki, and Batroyale went on to win the Debutante, and Silverbulletday won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). Chilukki and Silverbulletday were voted Eclipse Awards during their respective juvenile seasons.

Ur in Trouble  and Feisty Mitole  finished second (in a dead heat with Hope Road ) and fourth, respectively, in Dua’s maiden race in their only outings thus far. Doug O’Neill trains Ur in Trouble, a daughter of Maximus Mischief  , and has named Antonio Fresu to ride from post 7. Peter Miller conditions Feisty Mitole, a daughter of Mitole  , with Ramon Vazquez aboard from the rail.

Four in the Sorrento field are coming off maiden wins, two at Pleasanton. Vinos Angel , who is trained by Tim McCanna, scored by 7 1/4 lengths at Pleasanton July 7 in her racing debut. Joe Bravo is slated to ride the daughter of Vino Rosso   from post 4 in the Sorrento. A daughter of Flameaway  , Dreamfyre  won by 3 1/2 lengths at Pleasanton for trainer O. J. Jauregui, who has named Hector Berrios to ride from post 2.

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Benedetta  debuted July 8 at Los Alamitos, scoring by three lengths. She is the most expensive purchase in the Sorrento field, having sold for $750,000 as a 2-year-old in training. Simon Callaghan trains the City of Light   filly, with Victor Espinoza aboard from post 8.

Kythira  is the only horse in the Sorrento to have started at Santa Anita. In two starts there, the daughter of Kantharos ran third and then won June 16 by 1 1/4 lengths. Ryan Hanson trains the filly, who drew post 5 and will be piloted by Drayden Van Dyke.

Motet , a daughter of Mo Town   who sold for $20,000 as a 2-year-old in training, is scheduled to make her first lifetime start in the Sorrento. She has recorded works at Santa Anita and Del Mar, most recently going six furlongs in 1:15 2/5 at Del Mar.

Entries: Sorrento S. presented by Keeneland Sales (G3)

Del Mar, Saturday, August 12, 2023, Race 6

  • Grade III
  • 6f
  • Dirt
  • $200,000
  • 2 yo Fillies
  • 4:30 PM (local)

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