DEL MAR, Calif. - A string of 16 consecutive losses, including 12 stakes, ended for Dakota Phone in Saturday's $200,000 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. The win left trainer Jerry Hollendorfer planning to run Dakota Phone in the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 28.
"It's nice to win a race like this," Hollendorfer said.
Ridden by Joel Rosario, Dakota Phone ($11.40) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.55, outfinishing Battle of Hastings, the 3-1 favorite who was stuck in traffic on the turn. Dakota Phone, who won by a half-length, had no such trouble. Rosario launched a wide bid on the turn and was never interrupted.
"He had a lot of confidence in the horse and the pace was a little more brisk than we've been getting," Hollendorfer said.
Enriched, who finished third in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Stakes on July 24, finished third in the field of nine. Enriched set an early pace of 23.36 and 47.14 seconds, leading by a length through the first half of the race over Tres Borrachos, who faded from contention on the turn. Enriched led by two lengths at the eighth pole, but Dakota Phone and Battle of Hastings were making eye-catching moves on the outside.
Dakota's Phone winning style was effective on the Polytrack synthetic surface throughout Saturday's card.
There were several horses who won with wide rallies on Saturday, a rare day in the first two weeks of the meeting with ample sunshine.
Owned by the partnership of John Carver, Halo Farms, George Todaro and Hollendorfer, Dakota Phone, a 5-year-old gelding by Zavata, has won 5 of 29 starts and $583,810. The Grade 2 San Diego was Dakota Phone's second stakes win, preceded by the minor Forty Niner Handicap at Golden Gate Fields in November 2008.
During the 12-race losing streak in stakes, Dakota Phone finished second or third in eight stakes, including a third in the Santa Anita Handicap earlier this year.