Updated on 09/16/2011 7:50AM

Summer Colony victorious in Delaware


STANTON, Del. - In the immediate aftermath of the , trainer Mark Hennig had a difficult time believing what he had just seen.

"I've got to see that again," said a dazed and dazzled Hennig.

Much to the delight of an ontrack crowd of 10,780 and a national cable television audience, the scenario that had just unfolded in the $601,200 Del 'Cap was high drama indeed. Summer Colony, saddled by Hennig as the even-money favorite, had struggled for much of the 1 1/4-mile distance, but when finally clear in midstretch, she unleashed a powerful rally under John Velazquez to nail an unlucky Your Out by a neck.

"I could tell things weren't going well," Hennig said later. "John kind of felt helpless when he was boxed in" on the final turn. "It's not a good feeling to be in that position when another horse is flying by you."

At the quarter-pole, while Summer Colony was trapped behind Two Item Limit, it was a huge outside rally by Your Out that appeared to be the winning move. Under Ramon Dominguez, who upset the Del 'Cap last year with Irving's Baby, Your Out drew off to what seemed an insurmountable lead in midstretch, but then Summer Colony trumped Your Out with a tremendous late surge.

"She really responded once we got out," said Velazquez. "She got there right on time."

Graham Motion, who trains Your Out for Eugene Ford, was visibly shaken after the race. "I've never had a beat like that, not for that kind of money," he said. "I went from thinking she had it won to watching her get beat on the wire."

Summer Colony returned $4 as favorite in a field of nine after finishing in 2:04.52 over a fast track. Two Item Limit finished third, another 2 1/4 lengths behind Your Out. Then came Pompeii, Starrer, Critical Eye, Quiet Lake, Catch the Ring and Mountain Angel. Unrestrained, also trained by Hennig, was an early scratch.

Victory in the Grade 3 Del 'Cap, which was run for the 65th time Sunday at Delaware Park, further solidified Summer Colony's status as one of the top fillies and mares in North America.

In February, Summer Colony, a 4-year-old Summer Squall filly bred and owned by Edward Evans, defeated Azeri in the La Canada at Santa Anita. Hennig, who had never been to Delaware Park before Sunday, said he is looking forward to an eventual rematch with Azeri, the California-based filly who is widely regarded as the divisional leader. "As far as I'm concerned, the score is 1-0 in that race," he said.

Hennig said Summer Colony, now an earner of nearly $870,000 would race next in the Grade 1 Personal Ensign Handicap on Aug. 23 at Saratoga, then have one more start before the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff at Arlington Park on Oct. 26. Azeri also is being pointed to the Distaff.

Although ontrack attendance for Delaware's signature event was down more than 4,000 people from last year, the all-sources handle of over $4.8 million was easily a Del 'Cap record, surpassing the former mark set in 1998 by more than $1 million. The handle also was an all-time Delaware record.

Earlier Sunday:

* Miesque's Approval ($3.40) cruised to victory in the $247,900 Kent Breeders' Cup Stakes, taking control late in the final turn before being ridden out to a 4 1/4-length score.

Regal Sanction was second, another length before Quest Star and Coco's Madness, who finished in a dead-heat for third.

Jerry Bailey was in from New York to ride Miesque's Approval for the Live Oak Plantation and trainer Bill Mott. "It was a kind of peculiar race for him," said Bailey. "The idea with him is not to get him to the lead too soon, but as it turned out, he was much the best today. For a while I was wondering why he was so close so soon."

With two other top 3-year-old turf horses, Patrol and Orchard Park, Mott has some inviting options in the coming weeks, including the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park Aug. 17 and the Hall of Fame and Saranac Stakes at Saratoga.

* Bruanna, ridden by Tony Black, got the best of a stretch-long duel with Haunted Lass to win the $75,600 Light Hearted Stakes by a length.

Absolute Jewel led early in the six-furlong Light Hearted, followed closely by Bruanna. Entering the stretch, Haunted Lass, the 9-5 favorite moved to challenge closest to the rail, and after they raced head-to-head, Bruanna edged clear, finishing in 1:11.55 and returning $28.60 as the second-longest shot in a field of seven fillies and mares. Urban Dancer, the 2-1 second choice, was another 2 1/4 lengths back in third.

Jack Murphy and the Old Coach Farm are co-owners and Mike Gorham is the trainer of Bruanna, a 4-year-old Housebuster filly who now has won six of her last seven starts.

* Favorites captured the separate divisions of the Cape Henlopen Stakes for older marathon turfers. Rochester ($4.40), trained by Jonathan Sheppard, was ridden out to a 1 1/2-length victory by Pat Day, and Craigsteel ($5), trained by Christophe Clement, triumphed by 1 1/4 lengths under Mike McCarthy.