07/30/2010 9:45PM

Del Mar: Temple City gallops away

Email

Temple City set his own pace and galloped away from four desperate rivals to win Friday's $125,000 Cougar II Handicap, the 5-year-old's first career stakes win.

With the withdrawal of Princess Taylor earlier in the day, Temple City was expected to set an uncontested pace, and did so through slow fractions of 25.61 and 50.53 seconds, leading by as many as four lengths early. While the margin was reduced to a length with a quarter-mile remaining, none of the pursuers made any headway in the stretch. Ridden by Joe Talamo, Temple City won by 3 1-4 lengths in 2:30.46 for 1 1-2 miles on the Polytrack synthetic surface.

Unusual Suspect and Richard's Kid, who were first and second in the 2009 Cougar II Handicap, were second and third this year.

Temple City earned an automatic berth to the Breeders' Cup Dirt Marathon at Churchill Downs in November, which trainer Carla Gaines said is a goal for the horse. Temple City races for B. Wayne Hughes.

Gaines and Talamo swept the late double, winning a very modest maiden claimer over 1 1-16 miles with No Stadium ($6), who was making his ninth career start. No Stadium cost $210,000 at the 2007 Keeneland September Yearling Sale and was racing for a $25,000 claiming price on Friday.