08/23/2013 9:14PM

Del Mar: Topic heads Drysdale 1-2 in CTT and TOC Handicap

Benoit & Associates
Topic, with Garrett Gomez up, wins the CTT and TOC Handicap at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Topic, the only 3-year-old in a field of nine fillies and mares, closed from last to win the first stakes of her career in Friday’s $95,700 California Thoroughbred Trainers and Thoroughbred Owners of California Handicap at Del Mar.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Topic ($6.40) rallied six wide on the turn and took the lead near the eighth pole, drawing off to win by 3 1/4 lengths. Topic ran 1 3/8 miles on turf in 2:12.85.

Freedom Reigns (21-1) fought her way through traffic in early stretch to finish second, giving trainer Neil Drysdale a sweep of the exacta.
I Dazzle finished third, followed by Silver Hustler, La Zubia, Miss Pippa, Plaza de Indias, Little Emily, and Good Karma.

Leading contender Midnight Music was scratched Friday because she has been in foal for more than four months. In May 2012, the California Horse Racing Board enacted a rule that banned the racing of mares that had been in foal for 120 days. Midnight Music was in compliance with that rule when she finished second in the Lucie Manet Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park on July 5.

In Friday’s race, Little Emily took the lead when the field reached the stretch for the first time, setting fractions of 24.66 and 47.96 seconds. At that stage, Topic was at the back of the field, trailing the leader by about nine lengths on the backstretch.

Gomez urged Topic on the turn and got an immediate response, which carried her to the front.

Topic made her second start in a stakes in the CTT and TOC Handicap, having finished third in the Grade 1 American Oaks at Hollywood Park on July 13. She closed from sixth in a field of eight in that race over 1 1/4 miles on turf to finish 1 1/4 lengths behind Emollient.

A Discreet Cat filly owned by Alice Bamford and Anthony Speelman, Topic beat maidens in her sixth career start at Hollywood Park on June 13. A winner of 2 of 7 starts, Topic has earned $145,510.