07/29/2011 10:48PM

Del Mar: Bourbon Bay gets back on track with Cougar II score

Benoit Photo
Bourbon Bay pulls away late to win the Cougar II under jockey Joe Talamo.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Bourbon Bay won for the first time on a synthetic track, and scored his first stakes win since January, in Friday's $125,000 Cougar II Handicap at Del Mar.

With the victory in the Grade 3 race, Bourbon Bay ($6.40) earned a fees-paid berth in the Breeders’ Cup Marathon in November, but trainer Neil Drysdale said Bourbon Bay was likely to return to turf racing.

On turf in the last 18 months, Bourbon Bay has won four graded stakes.

In the Cougar II Handicap on a Polytrack synthetic surface, Bourbon Bay closed from fifth in a field of seven to win by 2 3/4 lengths over pacesetter Dahoud. Setsuko, the 3-2 favorite, finished third after racing alongside Bourbon Bay with a quarter-mile remaining.

Joe Talamo rode Bourbon Bay who ran 1 1/2 miles in 2:29.39, a track record. Owned by David and Jill Heerensperger, Bourbon Bay, a 5-year-old gelding, has won 7 of 20 starts and $684,424.