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HORSE RACING

Internallyflawless wins Grade I, $350,000 Del Mar Oaks

The filly held off longshot Nan by half a length to finish in 1:49.46.

August 23, 2009|Associated Press

DEL MAR — Trainer Bob Baffert's filly Internallyflawless held off longshot Nan by half a length Saturday to win the Grade I, $350,000 Del Mar Oaks.

Ridden by Garrett Gomez, Internallyflawless was second in the field of 10 3-year-old fillies early in the race, took the lead on the final turn and held on for the win, covering 1 1/8 miles on the turf in 1:49.46.

"I had to come out with her maybe a little earlier than I wanted to, but it worked out OK," Gomez said. "I got a jump and she did the rest. She's a nice filly."

Overwhelming favorite Well Monied rallied late but managed only a third-place finish.

Internallyflawless paid $15.80, $8.20 and $4.80. Nan paid $21 and $8.40. Well Monied returned $2.60 to show.

It was the second win in six starts for Internallyflawless, a chestnut daughter of Giant's Causeway owned by Charles E. Fipke. She earned $210,000 for the win, taking her lifetime total to $267,400.

Baffert said he is pointing the filly toward the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 6.

Also at Del Mar, jockey Rafael Bejarano is exercising horses in preparation for his return from a serious spill last month.

Bejarano showed up Saturday to work two horses a day earlier than he was expected to return. The jockey said, "I feel good, and it was good to be back up on horses."

Bejarano had several facial fractures in the spill on July 22 and later underwent surgery. He plans to wear a protective mask while riding in races, but not during morning workouts.

He said: "There's more danger of being hit by stuff while you're riding in a race."

Bejarano plans to ride his first races on Aug. 28.

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