DEL MAR, Calif. (AP) Midnight Storm fought off multiple challenges in the stretch to win the $250,000 Eddie Read Stakes on Sunday at Del Mar.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and carrying high weight of 124 pounds, Midnight Storm ran nine furlongs on the turf in 1:47.88 and paid $5.40, $3.40 and $2.60 as the 8-5 favorite in the Grade 2 race.
Ashleyluvssugar returned $5.60 and $3.40, while Flamboyant was another neck back in third and paid $3.40 to show.
Trained by Phil D'Amato, Midnight Storm took command from the gate and battled back when threatened through the stretch. Si Sage was another head back in fourth in the blanket finish.
The victory, worth $150,000, increased Midnight Storm's career earnings to $981,110, with seven wins in 17 starts. It was his fourth win in five starts at the seaside oval.
In the $85,425 Sandy Blue Handicap for 3-year-old fillies, Barleysugar won by 2 3/4 lengths under Hall of Famer Gary Stevens. The Ireland-bred filly paid $22.20, $6.80 and $5.60 at 10-1 odds in her U.S. debut.
Barleysugar ran nine furlongs on the turf in 1:48.70.
Cheekaboo, the 3-2 favorite, finished second. Mrs. Norris was third.