Harris Homebred Closing Remarks Earns the G2 John C. Mabee-Yellow Ribbon Sweep

Harris Homebred Closing Remarks winning the Grade 2, $250,000 John C. Mabee S.                                                 Benoit Photo

Courtesy of Daily Racing Form Del Mar, CA – Riding a stakes-winning mare such as Closing Remarks at Del Mar on Saturday helped ease any lingering discomfort from a spill on Aug. 31 for jockey Umberto Rispoli.

Rispoli rode Closing Remarks to a smart win in the Grade 2 John C. Mabee Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on turf, the 35-year-old jockey’s first stakes win since he resumed riding on Friday after a week of recovery from an incident in which he was unseated after his mount clipped heels.

“Adrenaline helps,” Rispoli said, responding to a question of how he felt.

Closing Remarks won the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at 1 1/16 miles on Aug. 12. She is the first filly or mare to sweep the two since Precious Kitten in 2007.

Bettors expected Closing Remarks to thrive in the $250,500 Mabee.

Sent off favored, Closing Remarks closed from fifth with a three-wide move on the turn to win by 1 3/4 lengths over 2-1 Turnerloose, who was always near the front.

Closing Remarks ($4.80) was timed in 1:48.23.

Rispoli had Closing Remarks off the rail toward the back of the field early in pursuit of a slow pace of 24.12 seconds for the opening quarter-mile set by Free and Humble and a half-mile in 48.22 set by Turnerloose.

Rispoli opted to move Closing Remarks into contention with a wide move on the turn and had an ideal run through the final quarter-mile.

“I know Turnerloose is a filly that can keep going,” Rispoli said. ““My filly was feeling good.”

Paris Peacock (10-1) closed from last to finish third, followed by Oakhurst, Neige Blanche and Free and Humble.

Closing Remarks has won three Grade 2 stakes this year, including the Grade 2 Royal Heroine stakes at a mile at Santa Anita on April 1. She was second or third in three other stakes at Santa Anita earlier this year, encountering traffic issues or wide trips in some of those races.

“We had a couple of good trips at Del Mar,” winning trainer Carla Gaines said.

Closing Remarks, by Vronsky, has won 6 of 22 starts and earned $861,320 for owner and breeder John Harris. Closing Remarks has won four stakes in her career, including the California Cup Oaks for California-bred 3-year-old fillies on turf at Santa Anita in 2021.