ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 27, 2014)–A close fifth between horses around the far turn, favored Lady Pimpernel found a seam turning for home and held off the late charge of Diversy Harbor to win Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes by a nose under Victor Espinoza, negotiating 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:49.96. A 4-year-old English-bred filly, Lady Pimpernel provided Carla Gaines with her second training win of the day, as she saddled the winner of the $75,000 Eddie Logan Stakes two races earlier.
With Kathleen Rose setting the early pace, Lady Pimpernel was full of run behind splits of 24.97, 50.05, 1:14.41 and 1:38.17.
“Last time, she broke a little slow and we had to make up a lot of ground,” said Espinoza. “Today I wanted to stay closer to the pace. I didn’t want to be too far back. She’s a distance filly and she doesn’t really have a strong closing kick…I took a shot. I saved ground (and) there was a bunch of horses that I was in between…For a minute, I did think Gary (Stevens, aboard Diversy Harbor) was going to get me but I knew she could keep going for just a little longer.”
Owned by Triton Racing, LLC, Lady Pimpernel was off at 5-2 and paid $7.80, $4.20 and $3.80. A close third in her U.S. debut, the Grade III Red Carpet Handicap at Del Mar Nov. 22, Lady Pimpernel got her fifth win from 16 overall starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $153,407.
“She had a tough trip at Del Mar,” said Gaines. “She was bottled up today, but at least (Espinoza) snuck through. He went a bit wide but they got the job done. I’m so excited.”
Diversy Harbor, who was ninth and last at the quarter pole, flew wide-out through the lane and just missed in a heartbreaker. The second choice at 7-2, Diversy Harbor finished a neck in front of Three Hearts and paid $4.80 and $3.40.
“I had a good trip until we came into the lane,” said Stevens. “I had to swing out extremely wide. I really didn’t want to give up that ground. I was loaded and there was nothing developing in front of me. She ran big.”
With just two lengths covering the first five runners, Three Hearts, who was ridden by Tyler Baze and was full of run into and around the far turn, was off at 15-1 and paid $7.40 to show.
“I just had nowhere to go,” said Baze. “She’s way the best horse and should have won today.”
UPSTART BOLO IS BRILLIANT IN WINNING $75,000 EDDIE LOGAN STAKES AT MILE ON TURF
Lightly raced Bolo pounced on the leaders a quarter mile out and streaked to an impressive 4 ½ length win in Saturday’s $75,000 Eddie Logan Stakes at one mile on the turf. Ridden by Mike Smith, who picked up his second stakes win of the day, the Carla Gaines trainee won in-hand, covering the mile in 1:34.92.
Breaking from post position nine in a field of eleven 2-year-olds, Bolo sat a comfortable second early to Stormy Liberal and won in-hand. Off as the 9-5 post time favorite, he paid $5.60, $3.60 and $2.60. The Kentucky-bred colt by Temple City now has two wins from three starts. He’s owned by Golden Pegasus Racing, Inc.
Soul Driver, who was in tight quarters to the far turn, was off at 10-1 and paid $9.20 and $5.20 with Tyler Baze up.
Daddy D T, the second choice at 2-1 with Corey Nakatani, paid $2.80 to show.
The Eddie Logan Stakes is named for Santa Anita’s beloved shoeshine attendant who operated his one-of-a-kind concession from Santa Anita’s opening in 1934 until his passing at age 98 in January, 2009.
Racing resumes at Santa Anita on Sunday, with first post time for a nine-race program at 12:30 p.m.