08/02/2013 9:46PM

Del Mar: U’narack strong in the stretch of Real Good Deal

Benoit & Associates
U'narack, with Julien Leparoux aboard, scores at 5-1 in the Real Good Deal for California-breds.

DEL MAR, Calif. - From his vantage point behind the leaders aboard U’narack in Friday’s $200,000 Real Good Deal Stakes at Del Mar, jockey Julien Leparoux liked his position with a quarter-mile remaining.

“I knew they weren’t going to stop,” he said. “I was confident.”

From his vantage point in the grandstand watching U’narack, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer was growing increasingly nervous with a quarter-mile remaining.

“I was not confident,” Hollendorfer said. “I was hoping he wouldn’t get caught in there. He kind of looked like he had a lot of horse.”

Entering the stretch, Leparoux showed just how much U’narack had left in the Real Good Deal Stakes. Rallying around the pacesetters, U’narack ($12.60) took the lead in the final furlong and won the seven-furlong race for California-breds by a half-length over 9-1 Ambitious Brew.

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

“I wanted to save ground and come around them at the right time,” Leparoux said.

U’narack finished in 1:22.23. Ambitious Brew, who unseated jockey Mike Smith briefly in the post parade before being caught by an outrider, finished 1 3/4 lengths in front of Raised a Secret. Omega Star, trained by Hollendorfer, finished fourth, followed by Tiz a Minister, Follini, Hazardous, and Lucky Cotton.

Tiz a Minister, the winner of the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap in June, was the 8-5 favorite. Last in the eight-horse field, Tiz a Minister made an eye-catching move under jockey Corey Nakatani to get closer to the leaders in early stretch but could not sustain the effort, losing by 4 1/2 lengths.

Leparoux had U’narack in fifth for the first half-mile, stalking Follini, who set an early pace of 22.61 and 45.15 seconds.

The Real Good Deal Stakes was the stakes debut for U’narack, who races for breeders Larry and Marianne Williams. By top California stallion Unusual Heat, U’narack has won 3 of 5 starts and $194,080.