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FUNALLOVER PURSE NO ROMP FOR VICTORIOUS SLEEP TIGHT
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 27, 2009) – Surviving a stewards’ inquiry and the fate of a nose bob at the wire, Sleep Tight narrowly gained her third straight victory Friday when capturing Santa Anita’s $51,168 Funallover Purse for fillies and mares while running 6 ½ furlongs in 1:16.10.
The fourth choice in a field of five with Michael Baze in the saddle, Sleep Tight nosed out Unusual Spirit and jockey Victor Espinoza in a driving finish as 19-10 favorite Masterful Miss settled for third, one length further behind.
Immediately afterward, stewards posted the inquiry sign in order to review contact between Sleep Tight and fourth-place finisher Sayit. They ruled that while Sayit had to steady momentarily just inside the sixteenth pole when Sleep Tight drifted out, the incident did not affect the order of finish.
A 4-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Exchange Rate conditioned by the meet’s leading trainer, Mike Mitchell, Sleep Tight paid $11.20, $5.40 and $3.20. Unusual Spirit returned $4 and $2.80. Favored Masterful Miss, ridden by Joel Rosario, paid $2.40 to show.
It was the 21st career start for 4-year-old Masterful Miss, and her seventh third place finish to accompany six seconds and a single victory.
Lightly-raced Sleep Tight, meanwhile, achieved her third victory in her fourth start after running second in her debut. Michael Baze has been aboard each time.
Owned by the partnership of Tightener Er Up Racing Stable and Paul Graham, the chestnut filly earned $28,800 Friday to boost her career bankroll to $54,720.
Triple Crown prospect The Pamplemousse is the 9-5 favorite among eleven 3-year-olds set to contest the Grade III, $200,000 Sham Stakes, which heads Saturday’s 10-race program that gets underway at 12:30 p.m.