Owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum and trainer Bob Baffert came away with a victory this past weekend in the $100,000 Adoration Stakes (G3) when Vale Dori held off Skye Diamonds for the victory in the 1 1/16-mile race.
Vale Dori pulled ahead in the stretch following the early pace set by Sensitively, and the five-year-old Asiatic Boy filly thought it was clear sailing ahead, but Skye Diamonds made her sweat it out after making up 1 1/2 lengths during the final furlong. However, Vale Dori pulled out the win and bested Skye Diamonds by a half-length. Sensitively finished in third, 9 3/4 lengths behind.
“She needed that stretch run,” said Baffert. “I’ve been sort of light with her. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to run her here and I decided to throw her in. I’d rather just run her than work her.”
Sensitively set the pace with fractions of :23.65, :47.25, and 1:11.15 after the first six furlongs, but then Vale Dori took over and ran a mile in 1:35.74 and would cross the finish line in a winning time of 1:42.35.
“There were no excuses,” said Vale Dori jockey Rafael Bejarano. “I broke beautifully and I put her right there. I knew (Sensitively) was going to go, so I let her go. I just tried to get my horse settled—get her comfortable. … I was a little worried Skye Diamonds was going to get us.”
Next up for Vale Dori will be the Beholder Mile (G1) on June 3.