2023 La Jolla Handicap: Maltese Falcon broke his maiden in style

Maltese Falcon broke his maiden tag in style with a late swoop up the rail to bag the first win of his career. Check out the 2023 La Jolla Handicap Recap & Race Payouts!

Breeders Cup Odds

La Jolla Handicap

Grade 3, One mile and a sixteenth, turf, open to horses aged three. Total prize pool $150,000

  1. Maltese Falcon +250
  2. Panic Alarm +200
  3. Agency +400

Winning time: 1:44.20

After six races without a win, Maltese Falcon finally poked his head in front to shed his maiden tag in thrilling fashion at Del Mar. Heading into the race following a strong second place finish in the 2023 Cinema Stakes, Juan Hernandez was always content to keep Maltese Falcon up with the pace.

With eight runners declared for the race it was the Mark Glatt trained Agency who bounded into an early lead.

Allowed an easy time of it out in front, Agency would lead the field up into the home turn. As is so often the way with races of this nature, the contest kicked into gear with just a few furlongs to run.

La Jolla Handicap Race Video

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Maltese Falcon wins the 2023 La Jolla Handicap

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Despite the challengers stacking up behind, it was still Agency who was hanging tough in front.

With the pressure eventually telling, it was Maltese Falcon who was able to nudge his way to the front after finding a dream trip up the inside rail. Bursting clear with just 150 meters to go, the only danger looked like it would come from Panic Alarm. Trying to time his surge late, there just wasn’t enough time as Maltese Falcon gamely hung on for that first victory.

2023 La Jolla Handicap Race Payouts

PositionHorseWinPlaceShow
1Maltese Falcon$8.40$4.60$2.80
2Panic Alarm $7.00$4.60
3Agency  $4.20

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