CONSTELLATION WINS BY A HALF-LENGTH WHILE GETTING SEVEN FURLONGS IN 1:21.83
LA BREA ONE OF FOUR GRADED STAKES ON SANTA ANITA’S WINTER MEET OPENING DAY CARD
ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 26, 2016)—Attentive to a fast pace throughout, LNJ Foxwoods’ Constellation overhauled a tenacious Finley’sluckycharm inside the sixteenth pole en route to a half-length victory in Monday’s Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and ridden by Flavien Prat, the 3-year-old filly by Bellamy Road negotiated seven furlongs in 1:21.83.
A 5 ¼ length winner of the six furlong Phoenix Stakes at Turf Paradise on Nov. 12, Constellation was scheduled to be ridden back by David Flores, but when Flores was reportedly unable to make flight connections from Kentucky, he was replaced early in the day by Prat, who sat second through splits of 22.24, 44.58 and 1:09.05.
Off at 12-1 in a field of eight, Constellation paid $27.00, $9.40 and $6.00.
Originally based in New York with trainer Steve Asmussen, Constellation made her second start for Hollendorfer in the La Brea and notched her first career graded stakes victory. In so doing, she improved her overall record to 8-5-1-1. With the winner’s share of $180,000, she increased her earnings to $479,464.
Ridden by Brian Hernandez, Jr. Midwest-based Finley’sluckycharm, finished three lengths in front of Enola Gray and paid $3.80 and $3.00 as the narrow second choice at 9-5.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Enola Gray was third best at 9-2 and paid $3.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.24, 44.58 and 1:09.05.
FAVORED CONQUEST ENFORCER TAKES GRADE II MATHIS BROTHERS MILE (TURF) BY 1 ¼ LENGTHS
Although pressed through fast splits, favored Conquest Enforcer kicked clear turning for home under Flavien Prat and went on to an authoritative 1 ¼ length win in Monday’s Grade II, $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (turf) at Santa Anita while covering the distance in 1:33.64.
The final race on Santa Anita’s nine-race opening day card, the Mathis Brothers Mile anchored a $1 million guaranteed Late Pick 4 and it attracted a field of 10 three year olds. Off at 9-5, Conquest Enforcer, who is trained by Phil D’Amato and is owned by Loooch Racing Stables, Inc., Imaginary Stables and Raquel Ritchie, paid $5.60, $3.80 and $3.00.
Irish-bred Mittersill, who was ridden by Joel Rosario, rallied from far back to be second turning for home, but never threatened the winner, running second by a half-length over Italian-bred Moonlight Drive. Off at 7-1, Mittersill paid $7.00 and $5.40.
Moonlight Drive, under Rafael Bejarano, was off at 10-1 and paid $5.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.91, 46.11, 1:10.29 and 1:22.07.
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