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Kingly wears the crown in Grade 3 La Jolla S.
Sunday, August 4, 2019
Kingly topped off a terrific weekend for the Bob Baffert barn with a heart-pounding neck victory in the $150,000 La Jolla S. (G3) Sunday on the Del Mar turf course.

With regular rider Mario Gutierrez aboard, Kingly made his way to the lead as he passed the finish line for the first, then quickly opened up by about five lengths after a quarter-mile in a rapid :22.15. Still up four lengths at the half-way point, Kingly's lead suddenly shrunk as Neptune's Storm came alongside midway on the far turn. Kingly had something left though, and re-broke, then held off Neptune's Storm once again to finish the 1 1/16-miles in 1:39.95

"He's a hard horse to ride," Gutierrez said. "We've tried different things with him, but today we just decided to let him do his thing. He took me (to the lead) and then he rated perfectly. In the stretch, he just went. He's a nice horse." 

Kingly is owned by Clearview Stables, RAC 04 Racing, LLC and Michael Meegan. The La Jolla was his first start on the turf, though he did win the California Derby at Golden Gate Fields on the synthetic surface. He has now earned $242,200 and is a full brother to multiple graded winner Mohaymen and a half-brother to Baffert's Breeder's Cup Juvenile (G1) winner New Year's Day.

Baffert's Sunday at Del Mar also featured a TDN Rising Star performance by the debuting 2-year-old colt Eight Rings, who covered the 5 1/2-furlongs in 1:03.68 while winning by nearly 10 lengths. 

One day before the La Jolla, Baffert's stable star McKinzie shipped to Saratoga and captured the $1 million Whitney S. (G1), the trainer's first-ever win in the historic race. Kingly was Baffert's second La Jolla winner and his 129th overall Del Mar stakes winner, most of any trainer.

Baffert 2013