08/11/2017 11:18PM

Majestic Heat takes second straight Solana Beach nose win

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Benoit & Associates
Majestic Heat, rear, wins Friday's Solana Beach Stakes at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Majestic Heat was dawdling on the lead through a slow pace in Friday’s $150,690 Solana Beach Stakes at Del Mar when jockey Flavien Prat decided to challenge his rivals.

Majestic Heat led by a head on the turn and by more than a length in early stretch.

“I was going too slow,” Pratt said. “She made her move. Like last year, she got there on time.”

For the second consecutive year, Majestic Heat won the Solana Beach for California-bred fillies and mares by a nose. Last year, she led by two lengths with a furlong remaining. She led Friday by 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole before holding off a late run from Moonless Sky.

The moderate pace of 23.72 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.77 for a half-mile helped Majestic Heat preserve enough energy to win her first start of the year.

Moonless Sky, who was promoted from second to first in the Fran’s Valentine Stakes for fillies and mares at Santa Anita in May, finished second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of How Unusual. The stretch run was the subject of an inquiry after Moonless Sky drifted out in the stretch, forcing jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. to move How Unusual to the outside at a pivotal time.

The stewards voted not to change the order of finish.

Majestic Heat ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:42.38.

Lynne’s Legacy finished fourth, followed by Dressed to a T, Starlite Style, Shehastheritestuff, and Qiaona.

Majestic Heat, a 5-year-old mare by Unusual Heat, has won 5 of 12 starts and earned $352,639. The Solana Beach wins are her only stakes wins for owners Madeline Auerbach, Bardy Farm and Ron McCauley, and trainer Richard Mandella.

 “She’s got a lot of talent,” Mandella said.

Majestic Heat gave Mandella his second consecutive win of the program. The 3-year-old filly Anonymity won her debut in a maiden race at 6 1/2 furlongs in the day’s sixth race. Mandella has three wins in the first half of the 2017 summer meeting.

“I needed that,” he said. “It’s been a little sparse.”