English Channel Firster Wins With Authority at Del Mar

English Channel | Sarah K Andrew

Sent away the 3-1 joint-second favorite for the Wednesday lidlifter at Del Mar, Hronis Racing's ENCODER (c, 2, English Channel–Nono Rose, by Hard Spun) sat a midfield trip while saving ground for the opening three furlongs, caught the eye when traveling ominously well at the quarter pole, switched off heels and into the four path at the furlong grounds and was punched out hands and heels by Flavien Prat to record an authoritative two-length victory. Fellow firster K P Indy (Competitive Edge) tracked the eventual winner into the stretch and rallied nicely to finish a promising second. The well-bet Tomorrow Knows (Carpe Diem) appeared to take an awkward step about an eighth of a mile into the race and was pulled up by Victor Espinoza. A $60,000 Fasig-Tipton October graduate, Encoder hails from the female family of GI Kentucky Derby hero and Canadian champion Mine That Bird (Birdstone), his three-time Grade I-winning half-brother Dullahan (Even the Score) and turf GISW Bolo (Temple City). The winner has a yearling half-brother by Smart Strike's son Dominus. Lifetime Record: 1-1-0-0. O-Hronis Racing LLC; B-Peter Lamantia & Greg Ramsby; T-John Sadler.

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