08/14/2016 8:46PM

Majestic Heat has first stakes win in Solana Beach

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Benoit & Associates
Majestic Heat and jockey Flavien Prat, inside, outleg Tiz a Kiss and Kent Desormeaux to win the Solana Beach Stakes on Sunday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. – There have been two interruptions to the career of Majestic Heat since Richard Mandella took over as her trainer, one lengthy, one short. But the patience of the Hall of Fame trainer has reaped rewards, for she is 2 for 2 this year, and on Sunday at Del Mar she scored the first stakes win of her career by just nosing out Tiz a Kiss in the $151,380 Solana Beach Stakes for older California-bred female grass runners.

Majestic Heat ($5), the favorite, had an ideal trip under Flavien Prat despite starting from the far outside in the 10-horse field going one mile on turf. Prat was able to get over and sit second behind pacesetting Mangita, and they surged to the lead entering the lane and were up by two lengths with a furlong to go. But Majestic Heat seemed to lose focus, and Tiz a Kiss, a 14-1 shot, closed with a rush to just miss.

“Watching the race I thought she had won by a head, but then I saw the re-run and thought, ‘Don’t get excited too quick,’ ” Mandella said.

Singing Kitty was another 2 1/4 lengths behind Tiz a Kiss in third, then came, in order, Mangita, Barbara Beatrice, How Unusual, Charming Starlet, Lily Kai, Thermodynamics, and My Fiona.

Majestic Heat completed a mile on firm turf in 1:34.98.

Majestic Heat, by Unusual Heat, was moved to Mandella’s barn last fall and made one start before heading to the sidelines. “We had to take a chip out of an ankle,” Mandella said.

She got back to the races in June and won a second-level allowance race at Santa Anita, but a scheduled start earlier in the meet at Del Mar in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon on July 16 had to be scrapped when Majestic Heat had a touch of colic.

Once Majestic Heat was well, Mandella pointed her to the Solana Beach, a clever spot for a filly who had run against open company in her five prior starts.

The Solana Beach gave Majestic Heat four wins in nine starts. She was bred by Madeline Auerbach and her initial trainer, the now-retired Barry Abrams, and races for a partnership that includes Auerbach. The $85,500 first-prize money brought her career earnings to more than $250,000.