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DEL MAR : Batroyale Caps Off Walters' Weekend


DEL MAR — Horse owners and breeders Robert and Barbara Walter and their sire Batonnier didn't have a bad weekend.

On Saturday, Argonnier won the $60,525 I'm Smokin' Stakes, then Sunday, Cavonnier captured the $35,000 King Glorious Stakes at Bay Meadows, but those were merely minor scores before Batroyale won the big prize in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante. All three 2-year-olds are by Batonnier.

Remaining unbeaten after four starts and following up her victory in the Sorrento 18 days earlier, Batroyale tracked the fast pace (21 4/5 and 44 1/5 for the half-mile) set by longshot Raw Gold, overtook her entering the stretch and went on to win by four lengths in 1:22 2/5 for the seven furlongs.

Proud Dixie, the second-longest shot in the field at nearly 54-1, finished second, two lengths ahead of General Idea. Molistar, the 5-2 second choice who had won her first two starts, was sixth.

With Gary Stevens occupied in New York, Martin Pedroza inherited the mount on Batroyale, and he made no mistakes. It was an emotional victory for Pedroza, who dedicated the victory to Sam Silverstein, who died recently. He was the father of Pedroza's agent, Rich Silverstein.

"This was for Rich and his father," said a teary-eyed Pedroza. "I loved [Sam Silverstein].

"My filly ran great. When we hit the turn and I asked her, she switched leads and that was it. She's something."

Bob Baffert, who has had Batroyale for both of her victories here, was also delighted for the rider.

"He rode her very well," said Baffert. "Martin has helped me so much. He's worked a lot of horses for me and if it hadn't been for him, I never would have been leading trainer at Santa Anita.

"He was thankful [for the opportunity to ride Batroyale Sunday]. The guy's a good rider, he just doesn't get the chances. He's very strong the last sixteenth of a mile."

Proud Dixie, who had won the Mid Peninsula two weeks earlier during the Bay Meadows Fair meeting, outran her odds, but the disappointment in the Debutante was Molistar.

Racing with Lasix for the first time and breaking from an outside post that had delighted trainer Robert Marshall, she never got involved Sunday.

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