08/16/2008 11:00PM

Abrams exacta in Solana Beach



DEL MAR, Calif. - Barry Abrams, fast becoming the king of the Cal-breds, gave them the old one-two punch at Del Mar on Sunday in the $109,700 Solana Beach Handicap when his trainees, America’s Friend and Lightmyfirebaby, took the first two spots in the one-mile grass race for older California-bred fillies and mares.

America’s Friend ($6.20) took advantage of a scorching early pace and rallied from sixth in the eight-horse field to beat her stablemate by 1 1/2 lengths. Bachelorette One was another length back in third.

America’s Friend completed one mile on firm turf in 1:32.98, the fastest time of the meet and a stakes record. Her cause was aided by the hot fractions (21.96 seconds, 45.20, 1:09.29) set by Silver Z, who led for the first six furlongs and then faded to finish sixth.

The win was the fourth in 24 starts for America’s Friend, who won just once in her first 20 races, but has now won three of her last four. She was coming off a victory in a first-level allowance race against open company.

“She’s always been a really good worker in the morning, but she never ran well in the afternoon,” Abrams said. “But this year, she’s made a turnaround.”

Abrams trains America’s Friend, 4, for her breeders, Madeline Auerbach, Vincenzo Loverso, and David Abrams, the trainer’s brother. She is by Unusual Heat, a stallion Abrams co-owns.

Alex Solis rode America’s Friend, giving him a sweep of the weekend stakes. He captured the Del Mar Oaks on Saturday with Magical Fantasy.