07/17/2013 10:21PM

Del Mar: Rising Legend makes his connections' day in Oceanside

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Benoit & Associates
Julien Leparoux guides Rising Legend to victory in the second division of the Oceanside Stakes.

DEL MAR, Calif. – After losing a tough decision in the first division of the Oceanside Stakes on Wednesday at Del Mar, trainer John Sadler, owner Kosta Hronis, and jockey Julien Leparoux evened the ledger in the $112,500 second division when Rising Legend held off a furious late rally from Gabriel Charles to prevail by a head.

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

Gabriel Charles was closing so quickly that Sadler admitted he thought Rising Legend was caught.

“We were a little unlucky the first half, but we got the bob this half, so that made up for the first half,” Sadler said.

In the first division, their Greeley Awesome was second to Gervinho, losing by a neck.

Rising Legend ($17.60) was making his first start since November, but Sadler had him ready to roll. Rising Legend and Gabriel Charles were eighth and last, respectively, in the nine-horse field for the first three-quarters of a mile, but both closed well to take the first two spots. Rising Legend was timed in 1:33.96 for one mile on firm turf.

Olympic Blue was another length back in third. Den’s Legacy, the 2-1 favorite, finished sixth.

Rising Legend was winning for the third time in eight starts. He made his first six starts in Great Britain for Richard Hannon, then was purchased and brought to the United States.

“We wanted to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, but he didn’t get in,” Sadler said.

Rising Legend had to await the Generous Stakes on Nov. 24 at Betfair Hollywood Park, and he closed too late while finishing second to Den’s Legacy.

“He had some heat in a knee after that race, so we gave him four months off with the idea of bringing him back this summer for a turf campaign,” Sadler said.

“He didn’t need surgery. Just time. We think he’s a pretty nice horse, and there’s a good turf program here.”