11/13/2016 8:21PM

Chao Chom upsets 1-10 Enola Gray in Betty Grable Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Chao Chom, ridden by Kent Desormeaux for trainer Gary Stute, pays $19.80 for winning the Betty Grable.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Gary Stute has inherited his father’s sense of humor, penchant for running often, and, on Sunday at Del Mar, knocking off heavy favorites.

 Stute sent out 8-1 Chao Chom against 1-10 Enola Gray in the $100,000 Betty Grable Stakes, and beat her on the square. Chao Chom dueled with Enola Gray until deep stretch before pulling away late to win the seven-furlong race for older California-bred female sprinters.

 “I was tired of getting beat as the favorite,” said Stute, who had lost four straight with Chao Chom at odds of 6-5 or lower, “so I put her in this race, where I knew I couldn’t be the favorite.”

 Enola Gray came into the race having won 4 of 5 starts, including three stakes, whereas Chao Chom still had her first-level Cal-bred allowance condition. But Chao Chom was lapped on Enola Gray early under Kent Desormeaux, and proved best late, winning by 1 3/4 lengths, much to the delight of Stute’s father, Mel, the retired trainer who was in the winner’s circle after the race, his pocket containing a bet likely worth more than $2 on his son’s filly.

 Chao Chom paid $19.80.

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 Enola Gray safely held second, 2 3/4 lengths in front of third-place Cuddle Alert. Barbara Beatrice was fourth and was followed, in order, by My Fiona and Harlington’s Rose in the field of six.

 Enola Gray had so much money bet on her to place, and, especially, to show, that she caused minus pools of $2,824.50 to place and $71,788.69 to show. She paid the minimum of $2.10 in both pools.

 Chao Chom volleyed with Enola Gray through fractions of 23.17 seconds for the quarter-mile, 46.17 for the half-mile, and 1:10.09 for six furlongs before completing seven furlongs on the fast main track in 1:22.53.

“I thought if she sat off Enola Gray, and they went an easy pace, she’d have a chance, but I left it up to Kent,” Stute said. “He did all the work.”

 Chao Chom, 3, is by Tizbud, and is owned by Thailand-based S. Samdow Inc. She has finished in the money in all seven of her starts, but her only prior win was against maidens here during the summer.

 Stute said he was inclined to keep Chao Chom in the Cal-bred ranks and not look at something like the Grade 1 La Brea at Santa Anita on Dec. 26.