Weekend Escape at Del Mar
Dick and Linda Laird's Weekend Escape provided the celebration for Linda Laird's birthday weekend at Del Mar by winning an allowance event going 6 1/2 furlongs on the main track with Jose Valdivia in the irons. The Irish-bred gelding broke sharply but was taken back to trail the field of ten down the backstretch. He moved up on the rail around the turn and found himself in tight quarters turning for home. He was bumped and sandwiched between horses at the eighth pole, but dug in gamely to get the lead and hold on by a nose at the wire.
The 4-year-old Mujahid son was sent off at 24 to 1 after a layoff of more than a year. He was making only his second start in the U.S. after being imported from Ireland in 2006, where he showed promise as a juvenile. He was sidelined by minor injuries, but his time off allowed him to develop into a stronger, more robust horse and he proved his worth today with his gutsy performance.
"Getting bumped around made him dig in harder," said Valdivia. "He was very determined."
Weekend Escape was bred by Shadwell Estate Company Ltd. and is out of the Wolfhound mare Sakha (GB).