Given a well-timed ride by regular pilot Joe Talamo, Include Me Not held off the late charge of Star Billing and Rafael Bejarano, winning by a neck in fast 1:41.96 for the mile and one-sixteenth over the main track.
Amani, making her American debut after winning ten of 11 races in her native Chile, closed stoutly from last place to be a flying third, 1 ½ lengths behind the runner-up and three-quarters of a length in front of fourth-place Switch who set the pace until displaced by Include Me Out in early stretch.
Include Me Out, a four-year-old daughter of Include conditioned by Ron Ellis, not only earned first prize of $180,000 with her sixth triumph in 11 starts, she also won an automatic berth in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic Nov. 2 at Santa Anita since the Hirsch Stakes is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier.
“I think she tolerates the synthetic tracks, but she’s a much better filly on dirt,” said Ellis. “She doesn’t seem to want to pull herself up as much. She just kind of does what she has to, and then when she gets to that lead, she thinks it’s over with. Anyway, Joe gave her a good ride, got a very good trip and really worked hard carrying her home.”
Include Me Out, a stablemate of Rail Trip who won the San Diego Handicap a week ago for the same connections, Jay Em Ess Stable and trainer Ellis, went postward the 8-5 favorite. The Hirsch marked her second Grade 1 success, having won the Santa Margarita last winter.
“It’s been great,” Ellis said. “We’ve been winning the big ones, the ones we point for.”
–Del Mar Publicity contributed to this report.
Include Me Out/Benoit photo