Although Del Mar Dennis was coasting along on an easy lead in Sunday's San Pasqual Handicap at Santa Anita and his trainer was confident, co-owner Trudy McCaffery wasn't so sure.
Now perhaps Del Mar Dennis is ready to lead the two transplanted Canadians back to prominence. He held on for a two-length victory in the $206,100 San Pasqual, with Slew of Damascus finishing second, Tossofthecoin third and Best Pal, the 9-10 favorite, settling for fourth place, more than 3 1/4 lengths behind the winner.
"My horse broke on top, but I didn't want to send him," said Gary Stevens, who rode Slew of Damascus, a winner over Del Mar Dennis in last year's Hollywood Gold Cup. "I just left the reins loose, and let him dictate the pace he wanted. He was very relaxed behind Del Mar Dennis. I made a couple of different moves at him going into the far turn. Alex [Solis] had a lot of horse under him. My horse really accelerated at the five-sixteenths pole. But Alex's horse picked it up right away too."