08/30/2013 9:08PM

Del Mar: Holy Lute confirms potential in El Cajon


DEL MAR, Calif. - Holy Lute won his stakes debut in Friday’s $100,500 El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds at Del Mar, confirming an opinion that trainer Jim Cassidy has held about the colt for two years.

Ridden by David Flores, Holy Lute ($15) closed from fourth in a field of seven to win the one-mile race by a head over 6-5 favorite Fury Kapcori. Holy Lute was timed in 1:35.38.

“I’ve liked this horse since I bought him as a yearling,” Cassidy said. “He got hurt last year and I had to stop on him.”

[DEL MAR 2013: Complete meet coverage, schedule, race replays]

Holy Lute was purchased privately for $120,000 after being bought back at a yearling sale, Cassidy said. The El Cajon Stakes was the third start for Holy Lute and first against winners. He beat maidens on Aug. 10. The El Cajon was Holy Lute’s first start around two turns.

“I thought he could get the job done,” Cassidy said. “I still think he’s got some learning to do. He came out of the maiden race like a monster.”

Last year, Holy Lute suffered a cracked cannon bone that forced him to the sidelines, Cassidy said.

Owned by Class Racing Stable, Holy Lute has earned $111,240.

Holy Lute was well placed early. Flores had him in fourth for the first half-mile and moved into second on the turn in pursuit of pacesetter Manando. Holy Lute took the lead in early stretch and held off a sustained threat from Fury Kapcori.

Tiz a Minister finished third, followed by Tree of Life, Pataky Kid, Manando, and R S Watson.

The positions of Holy Lute and Fury Kapcori on the turn were the subject of a stewards' inquiry after R S Watson, who was near the lead, was steadied and faded quickly from contention. The stewards did not alter the order of finish.