September 28, 2022

Inspiressa, Pure Xena among eight in Del Mar Debutante; Vasilika seeks rebound in Mabee

Vasilika and jockey Flavien Prat win the Gamely Stakes (G1) on Memorial Day Monday, May 27, 2019, at Santa Anita Park © BENOIT PHOTO

Inspiressa and Pure Xena, both prominent debut winners earlier in the Del Mar meet, will square off in the leading juvenile filly fixture of the track’s season on Saturday, the $300,000 Del Mar Debutante (G1) over seven furlongs.

Pure Xena romped by 11 1/4 lengths in a five-furlong maiden on July 20 for Brian Koriner, while Inspiressa prevailed by 1 1/4 lengths over Bast as an even-money favorite on August 11 for John Sadler.

The maiden Bast, along with August 18 graduate Stellar Sound, represent the Bob Baffert stable in the Debutante. Stepping up in class off a 14 1/2-length maiden score over $62,500 claimers is Leucothea, a Midshipman filly trained by Peter Miller.

Powerfulattraction, a distant second in the Sorrento (G2) when last seen, and Schuylerville (G3) heroine Comical, a distant trailer in the Sorrento, are the only two entrants with prior stakes experience. The Doug O’Neill-trained Lazy Daisy, another that won at first asking, will break from post 1.

Multiple Grade 1 winner Vasilika, whose win streak was halted at four when a close third in the Yellow Ribbon H. (G2) earlier this month, figures a heavy favorite again in the $200,000 John C. Mabee (G2) for fillies and mares at nine furlongs on the turf.

Graded veterans Elysea’s World and Paved, along with Ahimsa, have futilely chased Vasilika over the past 12 months. That might leave Grade 3 winner Toinette, who’s won five of seven lifetime, and Modesty H. (G3) winner Juliet Foxtrot as more serious challengers that are relatively unexposed. Santa Maria (G2) winner La Force is only 1-for-12 on the turf lifetime.