08/04/2012 9:42PM

Del Mar: Include Me Out just hangs on in Clement Hirsch

Benoit & Associates
Include Me Out, ridden by Joe Talamo, reaches the wire a neck in front.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Include Me Out re-established her position as the top-ranked older female on the West Coast when she held  off Star Billing to take the Grade 1, $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes on Saturday at Del Mar.

As she did in her previous start, Include Me Out ($5.20) got to the front at midstretch after a stalking trip and then went to idling, but this time jockey Joe Talamo was ready for it and was able to keep her in front by a neck. Amani, the highly regarded Chilean import, flew home for third, just 1 1/2 lengths behind Star Billing, after trailing the eight-horse field for the first six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile race.

Switch, the early pacesetter, faded to fourth and was followed, in order, by Quaintly, Zafeen’s Pearl, Kayce Ace, and Great Hot.

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Include Me Out was timed in 1:41.96 on Polytrack, and provided trainer Ron Ellis and the Jay Em Ess Stable of owner Samantha Siegel with stakes victories on consecutive Saturdays. They won the San Diego Handicap seven days earlier with Rail Trip.

“Everything worked out perfect,” said Ellis, whose oldest daughter, Elizabeth, is the long-time girlfriend of winning jockey Joe Talamo. “She starts loafing when she makes the lead. Joe was ready for her today. He kept busy on her.”

Ellis said he believes that even though Include Me Out owns two wins on Polytrack at Del Mar, “I think she just tolerates synthetics.”

“She’s better on dirt,” he said. “On synthetics, she just does what she has to.”

Include Me Out, a daughter of Include, has now won four of her last five starts, all since stretching out around two turns. Significantly, two of her biggest victories came last winter at Santa Anita, the track at which she is scheduled to make her next two starts, including the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on Nov. 2. The Hirsch gave Include Me Out a fees-paid berth in the Ladies’ Classic through the Win and You’re In program.

“I’ve been excited about that since this winter at Santa Anita,” Ellis said. “Now she has a couple months until she has to run again at Santa Anita.”

Ellis said Include Me Out would be pointed to the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes, formerly the Lady’s Secret, on Sept. 29 as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup.

Include Me Out, 4, has now won 6 times in 11 starts. Her biggest previous victory came in the Grade 1 Santa Margarita at Santa Anita in March.


Jordan More than 1 year ago
The last sixteenth of the Hirsch didn't alleviate my concerns about Include Me Out at 9 furlongs(on a dry track). I agree with Ellis, however, that the move back to Santa Anita and dirt should give her a better shot at getting 9 furlongs. The Zenyatta at 8.5 furlongs should be right up her alley. The Ladies Classic, at 9 furlongs and against the stronger Eastern females, will present a difficult challenge. The Zenyatta might actually be really tough for Include Me Out as well if Amani improves second time out and with a return to dirt(over which she crushed horses in Chile). 8.5 furlongs might be a little short for Amani, but the 9 furlongs of the Ladies Classic should be more to her liking. I expect Star Billing to go back to turf, and for Switch to shorten up. The Zenyatta shapes up as an interesting race. Another grade 1 win for Include Me Out and we would have to recongnize her as a serious Eclipse contender. And maybe Amani is a little sharper early, and if so we could see something special?
Joe Greble More than 1 year ago
Why would it be assumed Star Billing is going back to the turf? IMO she was the best horse in the race. Amani was a length behind her on the the turn and finished 1 1/4 behind. A jump after the wire Star Billing was 5 in front of Include me out. What lost the race for her was the drifting out of Include me out. On the the far turn and then again with a 100 yards to go Star Billing was caused to hesitate. While there was no interference and is perfectly legal I feel it caused her the race. Star Billing is the up and comer of this division