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Graded success: Beach View at Del Mar - Maryland Horse Breeders Association

Making his first start at the seaside track, Beach View pulled an upset over 3-5 favorite Hoppertunity to win Del Mar’s Grade 3 Cougar II Handicap on Wednesday, July 25. Given a ground-saving ride by jockey Rafael Bejarano, Beach View swept to the front along the rail turning into the stretch and won easily by nearly five lengths. The fourth choice in the field of seven, he paid $20 to win.

Owned by Levy Racing (the nom du course of Paul and Mark Levy of Chicago, Ill.) and trained by Leonard Powell, the 5-year-old chestnut son of Giant’s Causeway completed the mile and one-half marathon over the main dirt track in 2:34.02. It was his third win in 10 outings – he also captured a maiden special weight in September 2016 at Parx Racing a one mile on the turf, and a Santa Anita allowance on March 12, 2017, at a mile and a quarter on the turf.

“He was 0-for-2 on the dirt, but one of them was the first race of his career and the other was the Tokyo City Cup [when he finished fourth, beaten two and a half lengths], where he ran the best number of his life,” said Powell. “I thought we would be a bit closer to the pace, but Rafael [Bejarano] made the right call. We’ll see how he comes back. Maybe the mile and three eighths [Del Mar Handicap, Aug. 18], which is a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In, or we may look out of town. We have options with him.”

Maryland-breds have had success in the Cougar II Stakes in the past. Rock Softly, a son of Rock Talk, won in 1982, and Richard’s Kid took back-to-back runnings in 2012 and 2013, the first with Bejarano aboard.

Beach View was bred by Richard Golden’s Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds and sold as a yearling for $180,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September sale. He is the first foal for Love’s Blush, a daughter of Not For Love also bred by Sycamore Hall who won the 2011 Maryland Million Ladies and 2009 All Brandy Stakes at Laurel Park, placed in eight additional stakes and earned $299,247. Second dam, Blushing Broad (by Broad Brush), is a sister to graded stakes winner Brushing Gloom and half-sister to $624,194-earner and four-time stakes winner Clash by Night.

Love’s Blush is the dam of four foals of racing age, including 3-year-old filly Stormy Love Affair (by Stormy Atlantic) still owned by Golden, and juvenile colt Empire State (by Scat Daddy), a $275,000 Keeneland September sales yearling who placed in his debut in Ireland in May. The mare delivered a colt by Munnings in late April and was not bred back for next year.

More about the running of the Cougar II about the running of the Cougar II

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