Dalmore, a sharp allowance winner on May 29, upped his game on Saturday to score a half-length victory over Grade 2 winner Danzing Candy in the $100,000 Affirmed S. (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
The win was the first stakes victory for the 3-year-old son of Colonel John, the leading Fourth-Crop sire who has now accounted for eight stakes horses in 2016.
Getting a clean trip under Kent Desormeaux, riding for his trainer/brother Keith, Dalmore sat back off a very quick pace set by Beaumarchais and Danzing Candy. Dalmore made a deceptively quick move for the lead on the turn, and after an extended stretch battle with Danzing Candy, pulled away in the final sixteenth for the win.
The very rapid final time of 1:40.84 earned the bay colt a lifetime-best Beyer Speed Figure of 102.
“The most impressive part (of today’s race) was that half mile move to the quarter pole,” said Kent. “That was all him, I never asked him. I hadn’t even used my horse yet and Rafael (Bejarano, aboard Danzing Candy) was driving. To me, I knew we had him. It was a very explosive effort by Dalmore.”
With three wins and as many seconds from 11 overall starts, Dalmore picked up $60,000 for the win, boosting his earnings to $187,302 for owners Big Chief Racing, LLC, Rocker O Ranch, LLC and Keith Desormeaux.