07/16/2016 9:48PM

She's Not Here repeats in Yellow Ribbon

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Benoit & Associates
She's Not Here, ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, snaps a five-race losing streak in the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Everything came together for She’s Not Here late on Saturday afternoon.

An hour before the $201,035 Yellow Ribbon Stakes at Del Mar, jockey Drayden Van Dyke and trainer Phil Oliver had a phone conversation about the best way for Van Dyke to ride She’s Not Here in the Grade 2 turf race for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles.

“He said, ‘Let her break and get fourth or fifth, get her to relax, and she’ll give you a kick,’ ” Van Dyke said.

The tactics proved ideal when She’s Not Here closed from fourth in a field of eight to win the Yellow Ribbon for the second consecutive year.

“It went perfect,” Van Dyke said.

She’s Not Here ($20.40) was timed in 1:42.70. The win ended a five-race losing streak, all in graded stakes in California, Illinois, and Kentucky, since the 2015 Yellow Ribbon for She’s Not Here.

During that span, She’s Not Here kept good company. She was seventh behind Tepin in the Grade 1 Jenny Wiley Stakes at Keeneland in April, and sixth behind that mare in the Grade 2 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on May 7. Tepin won the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.

She’s Not Here, who races for Ian Banwell and G. Watts Humphrey Jr., was the sixth choice in the Yellow Ribbon. Van Dyke had her in fourth on the backstretch, following pacesetter Her Emmynency, who set a modest pace of 24.21 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 48.74 for a half-mile.

She’s Not Here took the lead before the eighth pole, and finished a neck in front of 18-1 Fresh Feline. The Yellow Ribbon was the first start for Fresh Feline since a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita in late March. The narrow loss was frustrating for Victor Espinoza.

“She ran super and she’d been off for a while,” Espinoza said of Fresh Feline. “Maybe with a couple more jumps I could have gotten there.”

Nancy From Nairobi, the 2-1 favorite, closed from last to finish third, followed by Finest City, Queen of the Sand, Keri Belle, Prize Exhibit, and Her Emmynency.

Her Emmynency tailed off in the stretch when beaten, a loss that left owner Ike Thrash stunned. Her Emmynency won the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last October.

“She was going easy and when they came to her, she shut down,” Thrash said. “I don’t what that was. That was the opposite of what I expected.”

She’s Not Here, a 5-year-old mare by Street Cry, has won 6 of 22 starts and earned $403,903. The two wins in the Yellow Ribbon Stakes are the only graded stakes victories for She’s Not Here.