Updated on 09/17/2011 2:11PM

Sweet Win takes San Clemente

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Sweet Win, ridden by Victor Espinoza, wins her stakes debut in Saturday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Sweet Win won her stakes debut in Saturday's $150,000 San Clemente Handicap at Del Mar, rallying through the stretch to catch the heavily favored Miss Vegas.

Ridden by Victor Espinoza, Sweet Win ($18.60) finished a head in front of Miss Vegas, running a mile on turf in 1:34.11. The Grade 2 San Clemente Handicap was restricted to 3-year-old fillies.

Miss Vegas, sent off at 2-5, set an early pace of 23.54 and 46.50 seconds, racing a length or two in front of Bonaire. The pair was eight lengths clear on the backstretch.

At that point, trainer Jeff Mullins was content with Sweet Win's position.

"She went along with some pretty quick fractions for being by herself," Mullins said of pacesetter Miss Vegas. "When Victor was lying back like he was, I knew we had a big chance."

Sweet Win closed ground rapidly with a wide rally on the final turn. Espinoza steered Sweet Win toward the inside in early stretch and caught Miss Vegas in the final strides. Victory U.S.A., a two-time stakes winner making her first start on turf, rallied from fourth to finish third, losing by a head and a nose.

Sweet Win was purchased for Gayle Fogelson for $175,000 earlier this summer. The filly had won 2 of 4 starts racing in Calder.

*Mullins was denied a stakes double when Buddy Gil, the 2003 Santa Anita Derby winner, finished fifth behind Statement in the restricted $76,100 Wickerr Handicap. Statement, the second-longest shot in the field, rallied from fourth to win by a neck over Seinne.

Owned by a partnership and trained by Kristin Mulhall, Statement, 6, was ridden by Javier Santiago. He ran a mile on turf in 1:33.35.