07/14/2013 6:58PM

Hollywood Park: Marketing Mix beats males in Sunset Handicap

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Benoit & Associates
Marketing Mix, with Gary Stevens aboard, beat males in the Sunset Handicap on Sunday, the final day of the Betfair Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Take that, gentlemen.

The 5-year-old mare Marketing Mix beat a field of males for her second consecutive stakes win in the $100,250 Sunset Handicap on Sunday, the closing day of the spring-summer meeting at Betfair Hollywood Park.

Making her first start over 1 1/2 miles on turf, Marketing Mix ($3.40) had an ideal trip to finish a length in front of defending champion Dhaamer, the 6-5 second choice.

Gary Stevens rode Marketing Mix, always keeping her near the front. Marketing Mix was third and then second through the first mile, tracking Hawk’s Eyes, who led by as many as four lengths. On the turn, Stevens guided Marketing Mix to the lead and had a two-length advantage with a quarter-mile remaining.

The Hall of Fame rider said he planned to take a patient approach, treating the first half of the race like a gallop, before asking Marketing Mix for run in the final three furlongs.

“I had it in my mind to do a two-minute lick to the three-eighths pole and set her down for a workout,” Stevens said. “That’s the scenario I had in my mind. She was very happy.”

Dhaamer, last of six early, closed to be fourth on the turn. With a wide rally, Dhaamer was second with a furlong remaining, trailing Marketing Mix by 1 1/2 lengths. Dhaamer narrowed the margin in the final sixteenth but could not catch Marketing Mix, who finished in 2:26.78.

The distance did not seem to bother Marketing Mix.

“Gary thought she would run that far, and I thought she could,” said winning trainer Tom Proctor.

Extensive, a 24-1 outsider, finished third but was 6 3/4 lengths behind Dhaamer. Hawk’s Eyes finished fourth, followed by Why Not Be Perfect and Only the Gold.

Dhaamer, who is trained by Mike Mitchell, won the Round Table Stakes over 1 1/2 miles on turf here May 12. In the Sunset, Dhaamer carried 121 pounds, two more than Marketing Mix.

“He ran a super race,” Mitchell said. “I’ve got no complaints. Tom’s mare is a fighter, and I knew it would be hard to get by her. They were really running at the end.”

Marketing Mix, an Ontario-bred by Medgalia d’Oro, races for Glen Hill Farm. She won the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes here May 27 in her first start of 2013. A winner of 10 of 18 starts, Marketing Mix has earned $1,869,518. Second in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last November, Marketing Mix is a candidate for the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes for fillies and mares at Arlington Park on Aug. 17.
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