One of jockey Rafael Bejarano’s greatest strengths as a rider is his confidence. He is willing to change tactics to fit the way a race shapes up. That talent was in full view in Saturday’s seventh race at Del Mar, as Bejarano guided Patitude from last to first to score in a five furlong turf allowance race.
Breaking from the eight post, Bejarano made his decision quickly. He guided Patitude, who had run most her races on or near the lead, to the rail. Bejarano was content to allow the rest of the field to fight for the early lead or go wide, while he sat patiently in last saving all the ground.
In the stretch, the frontrunning Lamontagne began to tire and drift out. That allowed Bejarano and his mount to close up the rail for an easy win.
A native of Peru, Bejarano is tied for first in the Del Mar standings with 14 wins. The co-leader is Tyler Baze and six jockeys are within four wins of the lead.
Last but not least, Patitude was a 13-1 outsider. Trained by the outstanding horsemen Mike Puype and ridden by Southern California’s perennial leading jockey, Patitude had a lot of horseplayers saying “woulda, coulda, shoulda” after the race.