08/26/2012 7:57PM

Del Mar: Former sprinter Obviously sets course record winning Del Mar Mile

Benoit & Associates
Obviously, ridden by Joe Talamo, sets a course record by running the Del Mar Mile in 1:32.10.

DEL MAR, Calif.- A simple career change this summer turned Obviously  from a struggling turf sprinter into a record-setting graded stakes winner.

“All we did is route him,” trainer Mike Mitchell said.

Sunday at Del Mar, Obviously, a 4-year-old gelding, won his second consecutive race over a mile on turf in the $200,000 Del Mar Mile. He led throughout and set a course record of 1:32.10, edging the previous mark of 1:32.21 set by Three Valleys in 2005.

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The distinction of new record holder nearly went to Mr. Commons.

Obviously ($4.20) led by as many as five lengths halfway through the race, but was fully extended under jockey Joe Talamo to hold off Mr. Commons, who finished second by a nose. Jeranimo, the 5-2 second choice, was last on the turn and closed through the stretch to finish third.

Obviously set fractions of 22.64 and 45.45 seconds and led by four lengths with a quarter-mile remaining.

 “Joe knows the horse,” Mitchell said. “He felt like he needed to open up.”

Obviously’s lead was only 3 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining and dwindled steadily in the final sixteenth.

“I needed a little more ground,” said jockey Brice Blanc, who rode Mr. Commons. “The winner didn’t give anything away.”

Jeranimo was a disappointment, considering he had won the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Betfair Hollywood Park in June. He was beaten 4 3/4 lengths by Obviously.

“He didn’t fire his best race today,” trainer Mike Pender said. “Our goal is the Breeders’ Cup” Mile.

Obviously, an Irish-bred by Choisir, began his career in Ireland, where he won minor races in July and October of 2011. Never worse than third in six starts in California for Anthony Fanticola and Joseph Scardino, Obviously has won 5 of 10 starts and $270,361. He made his first start for Mitchell at Santa Anita in March