Review of Red Carpet Handicap, Grade III on T, at Del Mar.

Race 6. Red Carpet Handicap, Grade III on T, at Del Mar. For 3 year-old fillies and mares at 1 3/8 miles on turf. Purse $100,000.


PP Filly / Mare Jockey Trainer M/L
1 Victress Joseph Talamo Robert Gilker 20/1
2 Pantsonfire Geovanni Franco Richard Baltas 5/1
3 Vexatious Rafael Bejarano Neil Drysdale 3/1
4 The Tulip Drayden Van Dyke Patrick Gallagher 4/1
5 India Mantuana Tyler Baze Thomas Ray Bell, II 6/1
6 Siberian Iris Flavien Prat Richard Mandella 6/1
7 Lucy De Kent Desormeaux Richard Baltas 6/1
8 So Hi Society Tiago Josue Pereira Jeff Mullins 20/1
9 Escape Clause Ruben Fuentes Don Schnell 5/1

Vexatious returns to the site of her first stakes victory Nov. 22 in the $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap (Grade III on T). She placed in two graded events prior to her fourth place finish in the Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). She ran mainly on grass during her 4-year-old campaign and scored her first stakes Aug. 15 in the CTT and TOC Stakes. The 1 3/8-mile Red Carpet should suit her affinity for longer distances. The CTT and TOC Stakes was at the same distance, and the Dowager was run at 1 1/2 miles. She should be sitting behind the pace setters.  Vexatious should finish on the board and most likely as the winner.

The only other graded winner in the field is Victress, last-out winner of the Ballerina Stakes (GIII) at Hastings Racecourse on October 6. Victress finished ninth in the Red Carpet in 2017.

Escape Clause has past experience on the Del Mar grass in her victory via disqualification last time out in the Nov. 9 Kathryn Crosby Stakes. She has won her last nine starts, mostly racing in Canada, and the Crosby was her first grass start. She gets a class and stamina test today, and her biggest asset is her tactical speed. She has a nose for the wire and should be near the front at the wire.

India Mantuana has lone speed potential. She opened up a big early lead and smartly went all the way at this course/distance on Aug. 22, but she was facing easier optional claiming foes that day. She looks like the one to reel in under Tyler Baze.

Lucy De is an interesting contender if she is ready to roll in her first start since April for Richard Baltas. She has been competitive in long-distance turf races in the past and her winning rider Kent Desormeaux stays put.

Our Top Three Picks:

  • Vexatious
  • India Mantuana
  • Escape Clause



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