2023 Seabiscuit Handicap Easter leads D’Amato trifecta

Easter came late – seven months late! – but right on time for trainer Phil D’Amato, who stole the show in the 2023 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar on Saturday when signing for the trifecta, Easter beating barnmates Hong Kong Harry and Balnikhov.

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Seabiscuit Handicap

G2 – purse $200,000 – 1m 1/16 – turf – 3yo+

Phil D’Amato swept the board at Del Mar on Saturday when sending out Easter to claim his first success at Graded level in the Seabiscuit, the five-year-old leading home barnmates Hong Kong Harry and Balnikhov in a dramatic finish.

The complexion of the race changed late, after the longshot Sumter had set off in front and was still there at the stretch call, although the posse was on his heels.

The favoured Hong Kong Harry, bidding to go back-to-back in the Seabiscuit, made his move for glory but behind him Easter was in full cry under Antonio Fresu and the 8-5 second-choice ran him down in the last few jumps to win by a half-length. It was the same margin back to Balnikhov, whose determined rally from last place came up just short, in third. Sumter held fourth.

Seabiscuit Handicap Race Video

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“It’s nice to see all three of my horses run well and the best horse won today,” said D’Amato. “Maybe it’s Harry the next time and maybe it’s Balnikhov after that.” 

Easter was having his first run for D’Amato after making his stakes breakthrough on his previous start. 

Seabiscuit Handicap race payouts

HorseWinPlaceShow
1. Easter5.403.002.40
2. Hong Kong Harry2.602.10
3. Balnikhov3.20

Winning time: 1m 39.96s

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