11/21/2015 9:31PM

Rusty Slipper survives objection in Red Carpet

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Benoit & Associates
Brazlian jockey Silvestre de Sousa wins his first race at Del Mar aboard Rusty Slipper in the Red Carpet.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Silvestre de Sousa began his career in his native Brazil, after several ups and downs emerged as the champion rider in the United Kingdom this year, is spending the winter in New York, but traveled to and conquered a new land on Saturday when guiding Rusty Slipper to victory in the Grade 3, $101,500 Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar.

 Rusty Slipper ($14.20) had to overcome an outside draw in the field of 11, plus a rider’s claim of foul by Victor Espinoza aboard runner-up Elektrum, before de Sousa could be credited with his first victory at Del Mar. But he said after the race he hoped to be back soon.

 “I’m flying back to New York tonight but hope to be here for a race next weekend,” de Sousa said, referring to the turf festival that closes the meeting.

 Rusty Slipper raced in fifth position early as Three Hearts ran off to a lengthy early lead in the 1 3/8-mile grass race for older females. Three Hearts started to come back to the field on the final turn, and Rusty Slipper edged closer, then took over at midstretch and went on to win by 1 1/2 lengths.

 Elektrum, the 5-2 favorite, rallied from eighth to be second. Espinoza’s objection alleged interference by Rusty Slipper on the first of three turns, but stewards said videotape of the incident was “inconclusive.”

 Three Hearts wound up third, denying jockey Joe Talamo – who was married Friday night – from what would have been his second-best winner of the weekend.

 Trophee was fourth and was followed, in order, by Personal Diary, Customer Base, Star Act, Havanna Belle, Energia Fribby, Tiz Kissable, and Beat of The Drum. Soresca did not draw in from the also-eligible list and was scratched.

 Rusty Slipper completed 11 furlongs on the firm course in 2:15.34 for her sixth win in 17 lifetime starts. Her trainer, Graham Motion, said before the race that Rusty Slipper, now age 5, likely would be bred next year, but she will remain in California for the time being and a decision will be made later on whether she races once more at Santa Anita before retirement.

 Rusty Slipper wound up here because Motion desired running her on firm ground, and conditions in New York and Kentucky this time of year are not ideal for her. Rusty Slipper won the One Dreamer at Kentucky Downs in September for her only other victory this year, and made her most recent start at Belmont Park.

 Motion trains Rusty Slipper, a daughter of Lemon Drop Kid, for the RMJ Stables of Zanim Meahjohn.