ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 7, 2017)–In a classic three-way photo finish, Insta Erma, masterfully handled by Corey Nakatani, was up to win Saturday’s $70,000 Swingtime Stakes by a nose. Trained by Richard Baltas, the 4-year-old Pioneerof the Nile filly got a mile on turf in 1:32.76.
With Nakatani at the controls for the first time, Insta Erma moved in unison with Belvoir Bay as both closed in on pacesetter Mrs McDougal heading into the far turn. With Nakatani just to his outside, Desormeaux had no choice but to step on the gas or risk running up on the heels of Mrs McDougal and Flavien Prat at the rail.
“Just knowing her like I do made a difference,” said Nakatani. “This is the first time I’ve ridden her in the afternoon, but I’ve been getting on her for Richie and I know her. I was just outside Kent going into the far turn and I was able to make him commit a little early. That put me in a position to win.”
Based primarily in the east prior to running fourth in her Southern California debut for Baltas in the Grade II John C. Mabee Stakes at a mile and one eighth on turf Sept. 2, Insta Erma was off at 3-1 and paid $8.00, $4.40 and $3.20.
Owned by Medallion Racing, Premier Racing Club, Jerry McClanahan and Little Red Feather Racing, Insta Erma notched her first stakes win and her fourth overall from 14 career starts. With the winner’s share of $44,400, she increased her earnings to $209,852.
Superbly handled by Joe Talamo, Madame Stripes, a close fifth heading into the far turn, tracked the winner three-deep turning for home and just missed as she surged right on the money to finish second, a neck in front of Belvoir Bay.
Trained by Neil Drysdale, Argentine-bred Madame Stripes was off at 5-2 and paid $4.00 and $3.00.
English-bred Belvoir Bay, trained by Peter Miller, was off at 7-1 and paid $4.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.92, 45.92, 1:09.11 and 1:20.68.