Kentucky-bred Cave Rock simply powered away from his rivals to win the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1) on Sept. 11, setting a new stakes record time of 1:20.99 for seven furlongs to close out Del Mar’s summer meeting. Cave Rock’s impressive victory provided a sweep of the Grade 1 events on the seaside oval’s closing weekend after And Tell Me Nolies proved best in the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1) on Sept. 10.
Ridden by Juan Hernandez, Cave Rock set a fast early pace, getting the opening quarter-mile in :21.56 and a half-mile in :43.65. Pressured throughout by stablemate Havenameltdown, Cave Rock shrugged off that foe in the stretch and drew off late to score by 5 ¼ lengths in the new stakes record time of 1:20.99, which eclipsed Declan’s Moon previous mark of 1:21.29.
“He’s a good horse, very professional,” said Juan Hernandez. “And he’s fast. He broke a step slow, but then he got right in gear and made the running. I tried to slow him down some, but he wasn’t having it. I just let him go on and do this thing. When we hit the quarter pole, I asked him, and he changed leads and took off. He just wanted to go. He’s something.”
A son of the late champion Arrogate, Cave Rock is owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson, and Paul Weitman. Bred in Kentucky by Anne and Ronnie Sheffer Racing LLC, Cave Rock is produced from the Bellamy Road mare Georgie’s Angel. With the $180,000 winner’s share of the Futurity purse, Cave Rock is now an earner of $228,000. The dark bay or brown colt broke his maiden in his only other start, taking a maiden special race at Del Mar on Aug. 13.
Peter Redekop’s And Tell Me Nolies prevailed in a thrilling finish in the Del Mar Debutante. Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, the Peter Miller-trained daughter of Arrogate got up right on the wire to defeat Home Cooking by a head following an exciting stretch duel. She stopped the timer in 1:23.29.
“I told Peter [Miller] that I had confidence in this filly right from the start,” said Ramon Vazquez. “I’m glad he was loyal to me and let me ride her in this one. She was a runner all the way today. This is my first Grade 1 win. It’s so amazing. I want to thank Peter for giving me this chance. This is amazing.”
Bred in Kentucky by Lara Run LLC, And Tell Me Nolies is produced from the Exchange Rate mare Be Fair.