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MISS PIPPA JUST UP TO WIN $74,000 SWINGTIME STAKES BY HALF LENGTH AS SMITH GETS THROUGH LATE IN FIRST TIME ABOARD SADLER TRAINEE
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 5, 2013)—In a race that showcased the abilities of two Hall of Fame jockeys, Mike Smith and Gary Stevens, Miss Pippa, under Smith, overcame a sluggish start and split horses late to just get up in Saturday’s $74,000 Swingtimes Stakes, winning by a half length over favored Customer Base and Stevens while getting one mile on turf in 1:34.11.
Miss Pippa, who has run some of her best races over the Santa Anita turf, was last down the backstretch and around the far turn under Smith, who was aboard the 4-year-old grey daughter of Master Command for the first time.
“She broke a little slow, but I thought we would just get into a rhythm, and (hope) they were going quick enough,” said Smith. “I got right behind Customer Base, the filly that I thought was the one to beat with Stevens on her and I knew he would give me a good trip.
“I followed him the whole way…But he went one way (in deep stretch) to split ‘em and I couldn’t follow cause it was time to run. I was blessed to be able to go another way to split horses and I had more horse today, anyway.”
Trained by John Sadler and owned by Joy Ride Racing, Miss Pippa was cutting back in distance from a sixth place finish going 1 3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar Aug. 23.
“She’s a nice filly and she’s getting better,” said Sadler. “She stumbled a little bit at the start today and Mike, he’s a consummate professional. He let her settle and she ran a beautiful race. She likes this course, she broke her maiden on the grass here. We’ll see how she comes out of this and look for something.”
The third choice at 7-2 in a field of seven fillies and mares aged three and up, Miss Pippa paid $9.00, $4.00 and $2.80.
With the winner’s share of $44,100, Miss Pippa now has earnings of $173,602. With two wins and two seconds from six tries on the Santa Anita grass, her overall mark now stands at 10-3-4-1. Favored at 2-1, Customer Base was fifth past the half mile pole and hugged the rail under patient handling around the far turn and into the stretch. She took advantage of a tight opening at the fence a furlong out and made the lead inside the sixteenth pole, only to be collared late by the winner.
“There just wasn’t enough room down there. I was second best today,” said Stevens, the meet’s leading rider coming into Saturday with seven wins, four of them in stakes.
Customer Base, trained by Tom Proctor, paid $3.20 and $2.20.
Charm the Maker, who sat third most of the trip with Joe Talamo, finished third at 4-1, a half length in front of longshot pacesetter Caraquista and Agapito Delgadillo.
Charm the Maker paid $3.20 to show.