Spendarella wins Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks

Saturday, August 20th, 2022

Gainesway Stable’s homebred Spendarella rolls to victory in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks. Benoit Photo

By Melissa Bauer-Herzog

Making her first start since an eye-catching second in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, Gainesway Stable’s homebred Spendarella returned to her winning ways Saturday with impressive win in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks.

Looking to take her record to four wins in five starts, Spendarella settled comfortably in fourth just behind the leaders in the 1 1/8-mile stakes. Angled to the rail soon after the break by Tyler Gaffalione, that’s where Spendarella stayed down the backstretch in the spaced-out field with the eventual winner about 5 lengths off the leader for much of the run.

Spendarella swung a few paths wide around the turn and didn’t take long to show why she was the 6-5 favorite favorite as she cruised past the leader at the top of the stretch. The race was over from there with the only question being how many lengths she would win by. Spendarella  provided that answer – 4 1/2 lengths in a final time of 1:47.09.

“We’ve always known that she’s going to grow into a beautiful filly and just get bigger and stronger as she goes and that’s what she showed today,” said Alice Clapham, assistant to Graham Motion. “I think [Gaffalione] had her in the perfect spot, he got tucked in coming off the chute and he said she was just waiting for him to say go and he said she still has another gear.”

The Del Mar Oaks marked the third graded stakes win for the 3-year-old, who won both the Grade 3 Herecomesthebride Stakes at Gulfstream and Grade 2 Appalachian Stakes at Keeneland.

Foaled at Sequel Stallions New York in Hudson and bred by Gainesway Thoroughbreds Ltd., Spendarella is the first Grade 1 winner for Gainesway’s Breeders’ Cup Mile and French classic winner Karakontie.

Offered at the 2020 Keeneland September yearling sale, Spendarella was reported sold for $220,000 to Ballyfair Bloodstock out of the Gainesway consignment but has raced for her breeder in all five of her starts.

She is out of the winning Unusual Heat mare Spanish Bunny, who also produced Grade 1 American Oaks winner Spanish Queen and the Spendarella’s stakes winning and multiple graded stakes placed full sister Spanish Loveaffair from her three runners.

Spanish Bunny had a Kentucky-bred Uncle Mo colt this year and visited both Karakontie and Quality Road in 2022.

Leave a Reply