QUIRKY CRISP RUNS STRAIGHT INTO GRADE III SANTA YSABEL STAKES WINNERS' CIRCLE

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2010) – Crisp, who bore out so badly on the far turn of her second maiden start that she completely blew the far turn before somehow miraculously recovering to gain a narrow victory, ran straight into the winner’s circle Sunday when making her first stakes start in Santa Anita’s 43rd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

With Joel Rosario replacing Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, the bay daughter of El Corredor languished five lengths behind the three leaders rounding the far turn of the 1 1/16-miles event, straightened out into the stretch and steadily overtook 5-2 second choice Evening Jewel to win by one length in 1:43.56.

ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 10, 2010) – Crisp, who bore out so badly on the far turn of her second maiden start that she completely blew the far turn before somehow miraculously recovering to gain a narrow victory, ran straight into the winner’s circle Sunday when making her first stakes start in Santa Anita’s 43rd running of the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

With Joel Rosario replacing Rafael Bejarano in the saddle, the bay daughter of El Corredor languished five lengths behind the three leaders rounding the far turn of the 1 1/16-miles event, straightened out into the stretch and steadily overtook 5-2 second choice Evening Jewel to win by one length in 1:43.56.

Ellafitz, who had dashed to the early lead under Garrett Gomez and led the way into the far turn before yielding to Evening Jewel and jockey Victor Espinoza, held on for third another length back in the field of five.

Zilva, the 6-5 favorite who Rafael Bejarano had opted to ride after coping with Crisp in her first two starts, at no time posed a serious threat after trailing the field early and never passing a horse.

“I watched her run the last time (Dec. 10 at Hollywood Park),” Rosario said of the winner, “and she was getting out with Bejarano. I wanted to make sure she was relaxed today. I just wanted to put her where she was going to be comfortable. She’s a nice little filly, and she did everything I wanted her to do. She finished great.”

John Sadler, who trains Crisp for Michael Talla, made one pre-race equipment change aimed at correcting his filly’s sense of direction. “She ran her last race in a generic D-bit,” Sadler explained. “We put a stronger ring bit on her for this one.”

Sent off as the third choice at 7-2 odds, Crisp returned $9.20, $4.80 and $3.20. The mutuels on Evening Jewel were $3.60 and $2.80. Ellafitz paid $3.20 to show.

Her ascension from an unprofessional maiden victory to a slick graded stakes win netted the connections of Crisp $60,000 and lifted her earnings in three races to $87,120 after she had finished a well-beaten third in her debut at Hollywood Park last November.

After dark days on Monday and Tuesday, Santa Anita racing resumes on Wednesday with the start of a six-day week continuing through the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday, Jan. 18. First post for Wednesday’s eight-race program is at 1 p.m.

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