LADY OF SHAMROCK DEVASTATES 2-YEAR-OLD FILLY OPPOSITION IN BLUE NORTHER STAKES; SINGLE WINNING PICK SIX TICKET OF $76,240 BOUGHT IN CANADA

ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 30, 2011) – Lady of Shamrock, purchased privately after breaking her maiden at Churchill Downs last month, stamped herself as a filly with a bright future Friday when drilling her opposition in Santa Anita’s $81,000 Blue Norther Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at one mile on turf.

Under a vigorous hand ride by Garrett Gomez, Lady Shamrock burst between rivals in midstretch to overtake Batalha and score by 2 ¾ widening lengths in 1:34.24. Batalha, with Chantal Sutherland aboard, saved the place by a neck over fast-closing Byrama in the field of nine.

It had taken the daughter of Scat Daddy three races in the East to break her maiden, but when she finally did at odds of 8-1, Lady of Shamrock did so with an impressive turn of foot. She promptly was purchased privately by a representative of trainer John Sadler on behalf of Hronis Racing.

“I worked her a couple of weeks ago,” said an approving Gomez in the Blue Norther winner’s circle. “We were very excited about this race.”

Gomez had Lady of Shamrock placed well behind a swift pace dictated by Coup de Coeur that included a half-mile in 45.00. “They were flying early,” Gomez noted. “My filly was able to run by them pretty easily.”

Bet down to 9-5 favoritism, Lady of Shamrock returned $5.60, $3.40 and $3. Batalha paid $6.20 and $4.40. Byrama, who closed resolutely for the show with Corey Nakatani aboard after breaking awkwardly, paid $5.20.

Nakatani thought that the poor start cost his British-import dearly. “She should improve a lot off of this,” he said. Asked if he thought Byrama could turn the tables on the winner with a clean break and trouble-free trip, Nakatani replied, “Absolutely. No doubt about it. She’s got a lot of talent, and hopefully she’ll show it next time.”

Lady of Shamrock’s new owners added $48,600 to a ledger that was $30,100 at the time of their purchase. The dark bay filly had fetched $11,000 when sold originally in May. Her recent sales price was not disclosed.

Although Lady Shamrock provided a formful ending to the Blue Norther, Friday’s Pick Six proved elusive, as one winning ticket returned $76,240. The singleton was purchased at a wagering hub in Montreal, Canada.

Santa Anita rings in a three-day holiday weekend on Saturday with the Grade I, $300,000 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs highlighting a nine-race program. Turbulent Descent is the 6-5 favorite in a field of nine while bidding to become 2011’s champion female sprinter. First post is at 12:30 p.m.

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