08/28/2010 6:23PM

Enriched takes Del Mar Mile on the front end


DEL MAR, Calif.- Alone on the lead, Enriched proved to be unbeatable in Saturday’s $190,000 Del Mar Mile Handicap, recording the first stakes win of his 21-race career.

The way the race unfolded, jockey Joel Rosario had growing confidence through the final half-mile. Enriched was allowed to set a slow pace of 23.97 and 48.53 seconds and held off a late threat from Meteore to win the Grade 2 turf race by three-quarters of a length.

“I didn’t choke him because he doesn’t like that,” Rosario said. “He galloped really easily. That’s why he finished.”

For Rosario, the win was his third consecutive in the first four races of Saturday’s 11-race program.

Enriched ran a mile in 1:34.83, finishing the final quarter-mile in 22.51 seconds. “The pace really helped,” said winning trainer Doug O’Neill.
Meteore, a 7-1 shot, was third for the first half-mile and finished second, a neck in front of Bruce’s Dream, who was followed by Blue Chagall, Scenic Blast, and Moudez in the field of six.

For the win, Enriched earned an automatic berth to the Breeders’ Cup Mile through the Win and You’re In program, but the 5-year-old gelding was not nominated to the program as a young horse. O’Neill said Enriched may not start in the BC Mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 6.

Enriched made his third start of the Del Mar meeting in the Del Mar Mile, having finished third in both the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes and Grade 2 San Diego Handicap in the first two weeks of the meeting.

A half-brother to the seven-time Grade 1 winner Lava Man, Enriched is owned by a partnership who claimed him for $32,000 last November. Since then, Enriched has earned $340,676. In his career, Enriched has won 7 of 21 starts and $494,656.