ARCADIA, Calif. (Apr. 26, 2014) – Tommy Town Thoroughbreds’ homebred Top Kisser, returning from a nine-month layoff to race on dirt for the first time, ran down pacesetter Marks Mine to win Saturday’s $125,000 Spring Fever Stakes for Golden State Series eligible fillies and mares on the Gold Rush card at Santa Anita Park.
Top Kisser is a 5-year-old mare by Old Topper, out of the Cherokee Run mare Cherokee Kiss, is trained by Jerry Hollendorfer and was ridden by Corey Nakatani.
“We thought we had her ready,” said Hollendorfer. “She was in the clear and responded when asked to run. We got lucky and got out of the game good, too. The Tommy Town facilities (owned by Tom and Debi Stull) are real nice and we turn a lot of horses out there, so we turned her out there and gave her some time and she came back and responded.”
Nakatani was riding Top Kisser for the first time. It was Top Kisser’s first sprint since her 6 ½ furlong debut on Dec. 9, 2012, at Betfair Hollywood Park. Top Kisser has won five of her last seven starts.
“She was feeling really good and I was just biding my time to let her do a little running and I let her stretch her legs,” said Nakatani. “She ran really well.”
Top Kisser has five wins in nine starts, earnings of 265,550 and was making her first start since a seventh in the July 20, 2013 Osunitas Stakes at Del Mar. This was her first stakes win.
Top Kisser went off at odds of 9.90-1, ran the six furlongs in 1:08.89 and won by 3 ¾ lengths over Marks Mine, with Warren’s Veneda third in the field of eight.
“She just got outrun,” said Steven Specht, trainer of Marks Mine. “She ran her race. I thought she had the race won until I looked up and saw the bottom horse coming up on us. Can’t take it away from them. We just got outrun today.”