08/04/2013 3:59PM

Del Mar: Lady of Fifty, More Chocolate likely for Zenyatta Stakes

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Benoit & Associates
Lady of Fifty, with Corey Nakatani aboard, gets her first Grade 1 win Saturday at Del Mar in the Clement Hirsch Stakes.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Lady of Fifty won her first Grade 1 race in the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes at Del Mar on Saturday, earning a berth in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at Santa Anita in November and proving her status among California’s top older females.

The flipside is what awaits her this fall.

“Looks like we get to run into Royal Delta,” trainer and co-owner Jerry Hollendorfer said.

Royal Delta, the reigning champion older female, also is expected for the BC Ladies’ Classic.

At least Lady of Fifty will start her autumn campaign after a successful end to the summer. After winning the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park last December but losing her first four starts of 2013, Lady of Fifty won the sixth stakes of her career in the Clement Hirsch, run over 1 1/16 miles.

The Hirsch brought together a strong field of older females. The winner received an automatic berth to the BC Ladies’ Classic through the Breeders’ Cup’s Win and You’re In program.

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Hollendorfer, who co-owns the 4-year-old filly with George Todaro, said Sunday he was disappointed when Lady of Fifty was second in the Grade 2 Marjorie Everett Handicap in May and third in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap in June at Hollywood Park, where she was favored in both races.

“We gave her plenty of time when she wasn’t doing as good,” Hollendorfer said. “We didn’t give up on her. We were a little disappointed. Sometimes, she wasn’t training as good. You have to wait until they want to do it.”

In the Hirsch, Lady of Fifty closed from eighth in a field of nine under jockey Corey Nakatani to win by 1 1/2 lengths over More Chocolate, the winner of the Grade 2 La Canada at Santa Anita in February. Lady of Fifty was fourth in the La Canada as the 6-5 favorite.

Byrama, the winner of the Vanity, was an unlucky third in the Clement Hirsch, racing in traffic at a pivotal time on the turn and in early stretch under jockey Gary Stevens. Byrama recovered to finish two lengths behind Lady of Fifty.

“She ran a really good race,” trainer Simon Callaghan said. “I don’t think there was much Gary could have done. That’s the way it goes. The gap didn’t come.”

Include Me Out, the even-money favorite, finished eighth. She was as close as fourth with a furlong remaining but faded in her second start of 2013.

“She just had a bad day,” trainer Ron Ellis said. “I think we asked too much with only one race. We probably expected too much.”

The first three finishers and Include Me Out have largely different goals ahead of the Breeders’ Cup. Lady of Fifty and More Chocolate are likely to run in the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 28. Byrama might start in the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes over 1 1/8 miles at Keeneland on Oct. 6.

Callaghan said Byrama could be nominated for the $1 million Pacific Classic against males on the Polytrack synthetic surface Aug. 25, but the Spinster is the primary target.

“She likes synthetic,” he said.

Include Me Out is likely to start again at Del Mar. Ellis said she  will be considered for the $90,000 Adoration Stakes, a restricted race over a mile on the main track Sept. 1.

“That way, I can get another race,” Ellis said.