ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 10, 2015)–With many questions unanswered, Stays in Vegas, who was trying two turns and turf for the first time, rated kindly and rallied through the lane to take Saturday’s $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes by 2 ¼ lengths under Alex Solis. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, the 2-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by City Zip got one mile on turf in 1:35.23. Although she won easily, Stays in Vegas had to survive a stewards inquiry into the stretch run, which resulted in the disqualification of the original second place finisher, Lucky Folie, to third.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and a handy winner of her first two starts, minor sprint stakes at Pleasanton on July 4, and Santa Rosa on Aug. 14, Stays in Vegas was a well beaten fifth in the seven furlong, Grade I Del Mar Debutante on Sept. 5. Off at 7-1 in a field of 11 juvenile fillies, she paid $17.40, $9.00 and $5.60.
“There are a lot of opportunities on turf in California, so we decided to work her on turf and see how she liked it,” said Hollendorfer. “She really liked it a lot. I just told Alex to get her away from the gate and try not to take a hold of her and get her trapped.
“I think she rated really nicely down inside and never panicked about being in there. When Alex asked her to come off the rail (at the top of the lane), she came off handily and did her job.”
Owned by Jim and Janet Rome’s Jungle Racing, LLC, Kevin Nisch’s KMN Racing, LLC and Jamie Roth’s LNJ Foxwoods, Stays in Vegas picked up her third win from four starts and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased her earnings to $130,600.
“Today, I thought I’d be lying right behind the speed,” said Solis. “I wanted to follow Gary (Stevens, aboard Lucky Folie), he had the filly to beat. When I got to the stretch, I got in the clear and she kicked on nicely…My filly, she went in towards the rail a tiny bit, but I corrected her right way and I didn’t think she touched anybody.”
Irish-bred Mirage, who steadied sharply off the heels of Lucky Folie a sixteenth out, was adjudged by the stewards to have been cost a chance at a better position and thus was moved up to second. Ridden by Tyler Baze and off at 9-1, Mirage paid $10.20 and $6.20.
Lucky Folie, who came off an impressive first-out maiden win going 5 ½ furlongs at Del Mar Sept. 6, set all the pace and steadied when overtaken by the winner, who drifted in late. The second choice at 3-1, she paid $3.80 to show.
“The winner would have gone by me,” said Stevens during the inquiry. “I had to stand up to help Tyler out. There wasn’t a whole lot of room there to begin with.”
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and trained by Doug O’Neill, Jakaby Jade was the 9-5 favorite, but could make no impact from well off the pace.
“Rafael said she lost her left shoe and her left hind on the first turn,” said O’Neill. “She never really had a clean shot. She was stuck down inside. We’ll re-group.”
Fractions on the race were 22.87, 46.48, 1:11.16 and 1:23.21.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 1 p.m. Admission gates open at 11 a.m.