Unwilling to wait any longer, jockey Flavien Prat urged Fashion Business to make a four-wide bid for the lead on the far turn in Saturday’s $252,070 Del Mar H. (G2). Comfortably overtaking his napping rivals, Fashion Business opened up a lead of several lengths approaching the quarter-pole and extended it to 5 1/4 lengths in a dominating performance.
“On the backside I could tell they were going slow and I went a little wide around there,” Prat said. “I know it takes a little time to go around. I just kept digging in and he just finished.”
Not only was it the first stakes win for Fashion Business, but the victory came with an automatic berth into the $4 million Breeders’ Cup Turf (G1) at Churchill Downs as a “Win & You’re In” Breeders’ Cup Challenge prep. It was also the second consecutive Del Mar H. win for Prat and trainer Phil D’Amato, the connections behind 2017 winner Hunt.
Owned by Little Red Feather Racing and Marsha Naify, Fashion Business paid $10.20 after covering 1 3/8 miles on firm ground in 2:13.84. Longshot Ya Gotta Wanna, also saddled by D’Amato, rallied for second, with Multiplier winning a photo for third. Itsinthepost, the 5-2 favorite, finished seventh.
Making his first two starts in Great Britain, where he was bred, Fashion Business won second time out over the all-weather at Lingfield for trainer Roger Charlton. He’s run exclusively on turf since his importation, with a neck loss in last summer’s La Jolla H. (G3) his most notable stakes performance in 2017.
This season, Fashion Business beat entry-level allowance foes at Santa Anita going a mile before finishing fifth, beaten one length, as a 43-1 chance in the Manhattan (G1). He was a non-threatening eighth in the Eddie Read (G2) last time.
“His race at Belmont was actually way better than it looked,” D’Amato said. “He was in a blanket finish and then the horse that finished behind him came back and won the Arlington Million (G1). So it was a very productive race. The last race (Eddie Read) — the mile and an eighth — we used as a prep for this race and it just worked out perfect.”
Fashion Business was bred by Andrew Rosen, whose father, Carl, campaigned the first ever Breeders’ Cup winner, 1984 Juvenile champion Chief’s Crown. The four-year-old gelding is by Frankel and out of Grade 1 winner Icon Project, by Empire Maker. Fashion Business’ second dam was Grade 1 winner La Gueriere, and this female family also produced French superstar filly Allez France.
His record now stands at 12-3-3-1, $283,885.