08/04/2012 8:42PM

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.