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Ruby Lane wins Del Mar race on Opening Day

Ruby Lane, a four-year-old filly stabled at the San Luis Rey Downs Thoroughbred Training Center, won her first career race during Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Ruby Lane won the fourth race July 21, taking 1:39.27 to complete the one-mile maiden claiming race for fillies and mares three years old and upward. She crossed the finish line with a 2 1/2-length lead over second-place Tiz Smoke Tiz Fire.

“It was a very good race, so I’m pleased,” said Paula Capestro, who trains Ruby Lane and is also a part-owner of the Kentucky-bred horse bred from The Cliff’s Edge and Shalini.

Some of the other owners were present for the race. “Those owners have just been very patient with that filly, and to see them rewarded with such a beautiful race on Opening Day will probably be one of my better memories,” Capestro said.

Ruby Lane, who first raced in August 2008, had nine previous starts prior to her July 21 win. Her first race, in which she finished fourth, was also her only previous race at Del Mar prior to breaking her maiden; she did not race between May 3, 2009, and April 10, 2010.

The April 10 race at Santa Anita produced a third-place finish, as did her next race May 5 at Hollywood Park. Although she finished eighth among 11 horses May 30 at Hollywood Park, she broke first in that race and was in second for much of the first half-mile.

Ruby Lane, who had the seventh post position July 21, broke third in that race. “My instincts were that she was going to break sharp,” Capestro said. “She likes to be down on the rails.”

Capestro conveyed that information to jockey David Flores, who was on Ruby Lane for the first time. “That’s what he did. It was an absolutely picture-perfect ride by David,” Capestro said. “She relaxed setting behind the leader.”

After a quarter of a mile, Ruby Lane was in third place. She was 3 1/2 lengths behind leader Perfectable and one length behind second-place Reason To Run. She was in third place at the half-mile marker, two lengths behind Perfectable and half a length behind Reason To Run.

Three-quarters of a mile into the race, Ruby Lane had overtaken Reason To Run and was one length behind Perfectable. Ruby Lane entered the stretch 1:26.24 into the race with a one-length lead over Perfectable, who was still in second place at the time.

“When he (Flores) asked her to run after the quarter pole, she just picked up the bit and responded beautifully,” Capestro said.

“He just had a whole lot of horse,” Capestro said. “The horse came out in good shape and very fresh.”

Ruby Lane earned $12,600 of the total $28,000 purse, bringing her career earnings to $31,972.

The first day of Del Mar’s 2010 meet was attended by a record 45,309 spectators. “I just want to say kudos to Del Mar. That was a fabulous Opening Day,” Capestro said. “The track for Opening Day was the best track we’ve had for Opening Day ever.”

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