Mandella’s Seal Team Registers Hard-Fought Half Length Win In Grade II, $250,000 Twilight Derby
MANDELLA’S SEAL TEAM REGISTERS HARD-FOUGHT HALF LENGTH WIN IN GRADE II, $250,000 TWILIGHT DERBY, GETTING 1 1/8 MILES ON TURF IN 1:47.29
ARCADIA, CA (Nov. 4, 2023)—Under stout restraint early, Richard Mandella’s Seal Team rocketed off the turn for home to register a gutty half length win in Saturday’s Grade II, $250,000 Twilight Derby at Santa Anita. Ridden to perfection by Umberto Rispoli, Seal Team, and English-bred colt by War Front, got a mile and one eighth on turf in 1:47.29.
Breaking from the number seven post position in a field of 13, Seal Team was full of run at the rail under the wire the first time around and was about six lengths off the lead while mid-pack as the field headed up the backside. Although Rispoli had to bide his time awaiting running room three furlongs out, he found a seam two from the rail around the turn, tipped three-deep turning for home and in a thrilling finish, overtook Silver Knott in deep stretch.
A first condition allowance winner over the course at a mile and one eighth on Oct. 8, Seal Team was off at 7-1 in his first stakes engagement and paid $16.60, $7.60 and $4.20.
Bred by Bass Stables, LLC and owned by Ramona and Perry Bass, Seal Team, a bay colt by War Front out of the Medaglia d’Oro mare Mrs McDougal, has now run exclusively on turf over five starts, winning three while finishing second and third one time each.
With today’s winner’s share of $150,000, he increased his earning to $260,960.
Shipping in from Colonial Downs, trainer Charles Appleby’s English-bred Silver Knott, forwardly placed throughout, battled gamely and prevailed by a nose over Webslinger for second money in a terrific effort. Ridden by William Buick, Silver Knott was off at 3-1 and paid $5.20 and $3.60.
The 5-2 favorite under Javier Castellano, Webslinger rallied eight-wide at the top of the lane and in a furious finish, just missed the place while finishing a nose in front of a resolute Reiquist, returning $2.80 to show.
Fractions on the Twilight Derby were 23.56, 47.18, 1:11.07 and 1:35.33.