Zoffarelli Wins La Jolla Handicap Via Disqualification In U.S. Debut

Red Baron’s Barn or Rancho Temescal’s Zoffarelli, in from England just a week earlier and unable to even get a work in over the Del Mar track, didn’t let that stop him as he ran well and survived a bumping match through the stretch to be declared the winner of the $150,500 La Jolla Handicap Sunday at the seaside track north of San Diego, Calif.

The bay gelding by Zoffany actually was second across the wire just a nose behind Yuesheng Zhang’s Sword Zorro and just a head in front of Double L. Racing or Baffert’s Hudson Ridge in a energetic finish.

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But the track’s stewards reviewed film of the contentious stretch run where all three horses went through a series of bumps and came to the decision that Sword Zorro should be disqualified and placed third and the other two horses each moved up one placing.

The winning time on the 1 1/16 miles was 1:42.27.

Drayden Van Dyke rode the winner for trainer Jeff Mullins. The owners are the father and son team of Jed and Tim Cohen.

Zoffarelli returned $17.80, $6.00 and $3.80 across the board. Hudson Ridge paid $3.40 and $2.40, while Sword Zorro returned $3.60 to show.

Zoffarelli, who last raced June 30 at Bath in England, earned $90,000 for his triumph moving his bankroll up to $110,325. He had won a race and was second five times in seven starts in England as a 2- and 3-year-old.

The track’s Pick 6 Single Ticket Jackpot Wager proved too elusive for the 12th straight racing day meaning there will be a whopping carryover of $1,127,460 going into the return of racing Thursday. First post for the eight-race card will be 2 p.m.

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