08/19/2006 12:00AM

Arravale wins Del Mar Oaks


DEL MAR, Calif. - Arravale's second trip to California this summer resulted in a major stakes win in Saturday's $400,000 and left jockey Jose Valdivia, Jr. in awe.

"She's a monster," Valdivia said. "She put me into the race early. I had to be patient when I could get out and then she flew around the field."

An invader from Canada, Arravale ($8.60) closed from fifth to win the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks by 1 1-2 lengths over Take the Ribbon, who was disqualified and placed fourth for causing interference in the stretch.

Arravale finished 1 1-18 miles on turf in 1:48.03. Valdivia kept her behind the pacesetters and on the rail for the first half of the race. She raced wide on the second turn and rallied wider through the stretch to reach the front in the final furlong.

The victory was the second stakes win and first at the Grade 1 level for Arravale, who is owned by Robert Costigan and trained by Mac Benson. She won the Alywow Stakes at Woodbine in June, which was followed by a third in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 2.

Arravale has won 4 of 6 starts and $502,752.

The stewards disqualified Take the Ribbon for interfering with third- and fourth-place finishers Foxysox and Soothsay. They were promoted one position. Attima, the 5-2 favorite, led in the stretch but faded to finish fifth.