08/23/2013 3:25PM

Del Mar: Winning Prize runs his way into Shadwell Mile

Benoit & Associates
Winning Prize, Rafael Bejarano aboard, wins a one-mile allowance on the turf Thursday in 1:32.96.

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Winning Prize, a three-time Group 1 winner in Argentina in 2012, won his American debut so convincingly at Del Mar on Thursday that trainer Neil Drysdale hopes to send the colt to Keeneland for the $750,000 Shadwell Mile on Oct. 5.

The Shadwell Mile is expected to include Wise Dan, the reigning Horse of the Year.

Winning Prize ($8) led throughout a one-mile allowance race on the turf, drawing off in the final furlong to win by four lengths in 1:32.96 under leading rider Rafael Bejarano.

Chips All In, the winner of the Grade 3 San Simeon Handicap and three other stakes in his career, finished second as the even-money favorite.

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Winning Prize, who began workouts in California in early June, earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 99.

“We knew he could run but there was the question of how he would adapt,” Drysdale said. “I’d say he ran better than anyone expected.”

Owned by Jose Nelson and Dave Heerensperger, Winning Prize has won 6 of 9 starts and $213,340. Racing in Argentina, Winning Prize won four stakes, including a Group 1 race against older horses as a 3-year-old last December, his final start in that country.

Drysdale said that Winning Prize is unlikely to start in the $1 million Woodbine Mile in Canada on Sept.  15, with the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile preferred.

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“The Canadian race comes up rather quick,” he said. “We might look at the Shadwelll Mile. It’s better timing.”