09/04/2009 11:00PM

Mi Sueno battles to Debutante victory


DEL MAR, Calif. - Mi Sueno will go to Santa Anita this fall as the leading 2-year-old filly in California after her gutty win in Saturday's $300,000 Darley Debutante.

But the style of Saturday's win was not as attractive as her comprehensive victory by 6 1/2 lengths in the Grade 3 Sorrento Stakes on Aug. 7.

Mi Sueno ($4) had to fight to win the Grade 1 Debutante. Ridden by Michael Baze, she stalked pacesetters Necessary Evil and Punctual through fractions of 22.60 and 45.59 seconds, dropped back from fourth to fifth on the turn, but rallied through the stretch to take the lead in the final sixteenth.

Mi Sueno won by a length over Blind Luck, who was making her stakes debut. La Nez, who passed Mi Sueno on the turn, held third in the field of eight 2-year-olds fillies.

The winning time for seven furlongs was 1:23.78. Mi Sueno races for southern Equine Stable and trainer Eric Guillot. Mi Sueno has won 2 of 4 starts and $288,400. A $1.7 million weanling purchase at Keeneland in 2007, Mi Sueno was second in her first two starts, both in maiden races, but is unbeaten in two starts in stakes at Del Mar.

Star Nicholas, Grazen look like Cal Cup material

Two minor stakes at Del Mar on Saturday produced candidates for the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Oct. 3.

Star Nicholas, the winner of the $114,020 Windy Sands Handicap, and Grazen, the winner of the $100,000 El Cajon Stakes, will be pointed for the Classic, which is run over 1 1/8 miles.

Star Nicholas closed from last of five in the final furlong to win the one-mile Windy Sands in 1:37.53 under jockey Michael Baze.

The five runners were separated by 1 1/4 lengths. Star Nicholas ($5.40) finished a neck in front of Monzante, who was making his first start in 53 weeks. Tamborin finished third, a neck behind Monzante, and three-quarters of a length ahead of Limestone Edge.

Monzante won the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar in July 2008.

Star Nicholas has won 5 of 19 starts and $323,263. Owned by a partnership, Star Nicholas won the On Trust Handicap for statebreds at Hollywood Park last December, but was winless in his first five starts this year.

Grazen won his second stakes of the summer in the El Cajon, which was restricted to 3-year-olds.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Grazen ($4.60) ran a mile in 1:36.49. Gomez kept Grazen behind pacesetter Lt. Hopeful until early stretch, emerged between horses with than a furlong to go and held off a determined run from Chocolate Candy to win by three-quarters of a length.

Chocolate Candy, fifth in the Kentucky Derby, finished 5 1/4 lengths clear of 19-1 Fu Peg He Rat in the field of seven.

Grazen won the Grade 3 Affirmed Handicap at Hollywood Park in June. Owned by Nick Alexander and trained by Mike Mitchell, Grazen has won 4 of 6 starts and $245,400.