ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 20, 2017)–Originally sent to Santa Anita to run down the track’s hillside turf course in the $70,000 Unzip Me Stakes Sept. 30, Florida-based Tillie’s Lily rocketed to the lead from her rail post and never looked back as she took Santa Anita’s $53,000 Friday allowance feature by 1 ½ lengths under Flavien Prat. Trained by Gulfstream Park-based Jonathan Thomas and saddled by Michael McCarthy, Tillie’s Lily got 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf in 1:12.35.
Idle since taking a first condition allowance going five furlongs on turf by 2 ¾ lengths on Sept. 1, Tillie’s Lily, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Distorted Humor, was off as the even money favorite in a field of six juvenile fillies and paid $4.00, $2.80 and $2.40.
“She ran really well,” said Prat. “We made a comfortable lead and when they (runner-up Swirling and third place finisher Snow Cloud) came to me, I used my stick and she responded right away. She’s got some ability.”
Owned by Southwind Stables, Inc., Tillie’s Lily, who is now unbeaten in three starts, bagged $31,800 for the win, increasing her earnings to $76,800.
“She’s fast, no question,” said McCarthy, who indicated Tillie’s Lily would be reunited in the coming weeks with her trainer and stablemate Catholic Boy, who is set to run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on Nov. 3. “This win today opens up a lot of options for her.”
Ridden by top apprentice Evin Roman, Swirling, who was three-deep turning for home outside Snow Cloud, launched a serious stretch bid but was no match for the winner as she finished second by 1 ¼ lengths. Off at 5-1, Swirling paid $4.00 and $2.60.
Irish-bred Snow Cloud, the longest shot in the field at 15-1 with apprentice Ruben Fuentes, finished 3 ¼ lengths clear of Fact of Life and paid $4.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.47, 43.69 and 1:06.32.
Racing resumes at Santa Anita with a nine-race card on Saturday. First post time is at 12:30 p.m. and admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.