11/24/2016 6:51PM

Nuovo Record wins Red Carpet Handicap to make overseas trip worthwhile

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Benoit & Associates
Nuovo Record (No. 1) and jockey Yasunari Iwata beat Arles by a nose in the Red Carpet Handicap on Thursday.

DEL MAR, Calif. – The horse and her connections came all the way from Japan, but it was apparent that those associated with Nuovo Record fully understood the significance of her victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap on Thursday at Del Mar.

“It’s very, very special,” said Hiroshi Ando, the racing manager for owner Reiko Hara. “Del Mar has the Breeders’ Cup next year, and we’d love to come back. And this is Thanksgiving in the States, so we will have a great Thanksgiving Day.”

Nuovo Record ($12.40) made it possible, closing gamely under jockey Yasunari Iwata to nose out even-money favorite Arles in the very last jump of the 1 3/8-mile grass race for older females.

Swear by It was another length back in third, then came Into the Mystic, Frenzified, Generosidade, Dreamarcher, Fresh Feline, Barleysugar, and Ginga in the field of 10.

Nuovo Record completed 1 3/8 miles on firm turf in 2:15.56.

The victory was the sixth in 20 starts for Nuovo Record, who had not won since March 2015 in her native Japan, a losing streak that had reached nine races. She had raced in Japan and Hong Kong since then and most recently had finished 11th of 13 in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita, her first start in this country.

“We believe she is a very good horse. We didn’t believe how she ran in the Breeders’ Cup,” Ando said.

Makoto Saito trains Nuovo Record, who will continue her globetrotting ways by returning to Hong Kong next month for the Hong Kong Vase. Saito, through an interpreter, said the intention is for Nuovo Record to remain in training next year and point for the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar.

Nuovo Record, a 5-year-old mare by Heart’s Cry, has earned just shy of $5 million. She picked up $60,000 for the Red Carpet win. But it was worth a lot more than that.