Juan Hernandez gets a break from suspension to make the difference in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes.

They ran four stakes over the weekend at Del Mar, two each on Saturday and Sunday. The Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch was the headliner on Saturday, and though only five went to the post, it was still a good horse race. Baffert’s Adare Manor was made the solid 3 to 5 favorite in this mile and a sixteenth affair on the main track, and she didn’t disappoint as she locked up her 4th consecutive win, but she was all out to do it in the drive. She tracked Elm Drive in this contest for older fillies and mares through solid early fractions, took control of the race late in the stretch, and was all out to hold off the perfect tripper Desert Dawn by a length at the wire.

Juan Hernandez, who was on suspension for careless riding through the entire weekend, was allowed to ride this graded race, and he made the difference on the favorite. Elm Drive tried to stretch her speed around two turns and was courageous in defeat. She finished third, a length and a half behind Desert Dawn, but she didn’t give it up till very late in the stretch.

This race was a Win and You’re In for the B/C Distaff, which will be at Santa Anita, a track where Adare Manor has never lost. It was her first Grade 1 win in her career and for Baffert, it was his 158th winning stakes race as a trainer, far and away the most in Del Mar history.

Earlier in the race card, 11 went to the post in the Cal bred stakes called the California Dreamin’ stakes for older runners at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. Kings River Knight, going for three in a row, was made the 4/5 favorite, had the perfect trip just off the pace, but got nailed very late in the drive by Carmelita’s Man, who won this very race last year. The winner came from six back at the ¼ pole, rallied late under Tiago Pereira, and scored by ¾ of a length at the wire. The winner paid $13.60 and was a top choice selection on our Turfdom sheet. The six year old gelding pushed his career earnings to $554,670 for underrated trainer Dean Pederson, who knows how to get a horse ready for a big race off a layoff. None Above the Law ran well to get third at 9/1.