ARCADIA, CA, MAY 1, 2015 – Traffic trouble couldn’t stop Avenge Friday as the Richard Mandella trainee rolled late to register a head victory in the $78,550 Ultrafleet Stakes at Santa Anita under Flavien Prat.
A 3-year-old filly by War Front, Avenge was on the rail throughout the 6 ½ furlong hillside turf race until she tried to find room to run entering the stretch but was blocked by a wall of horses. She broke from the No. 1 post position in a field of five 3-year-old fillies but found herself in some difficulty just before approaching the dirt portion of the course.
“She was in trouble just before we hit the dirt but she was in the bridle early on,” said Prat. “I didn’t have anywhere I could go though, so it was tough. After I was in the clear I was OK. I waited to take the lead until the very last moment because I knew she would lug in a little.”
With the victory, Avenge posted her third consecutive hillside win and her first added money victory.
Avenge, owned by Ramona Bass, LLC, paid $5.20, $4.20, and $3 across the board and covered the distance on a firm track in 1:14.07 under 121 pounds. The fractions, set by longshot Ethan’s Baby and 4-5 favorite She’s a Big Winner, were 21.68, 43.79 and 1:07.75.
She’s a Big Winner battled on the lead with Ethan’s Baby throughout but drifted in towards the rail mid-stretch, causing Ethan’s Baby to take up. She’s a Big Winner ended up fifth.
Longshot Moons Over Me under Drayden Van Dyke sat out of it early, went wide going into the stretch and had the lead on the far outside but was caught late by Avenge in between horses. Moons Over Me paid $24.20 and 8.60 to place at 36-1.
Third choice Mio Me stalked the pace, gained the advantage midstretch and fought the top two to the wire but was third best. Mio Me returned $3.80 to show.
Suva Harbor, She’s a Big Winner and Ethan’s Baby completed the order of finish.
Avenge earned $46,980, increasing her career bankroll to $126,580.