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RICHIES PARTY GIRL GOES GATE TO WIRE TO WIN $100,000 JUVENILE TURF SPRINT STAKES, ESPINOZA GUIDES WARD TRAINEE TO 2 ¼ LENGTH TALLY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2013)—Richies Party Girl motored to the front and never looked back in Saturday’s $100,000 Juvenile Turf Sprint Stakes, winning by 2 ¼ lengths under Victor Espinoza while covering about 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.36.
A gate to wire allowance winner going one mile on turf at Churchill Downs Sept. 7, Richies Party Girl showed early speed and ended up a well-beaten last in her most recent start, the Grade III, 1 1/16 miles turf Jessamine Stakes at Keeneland Oct. 9.
“I had never been on her before, but I decided if she broke sharply, I’d let her go,” said Espinoza. “I was able to slow it down a little the first half mile and when we crossed the dirt at the top of the stretch, she had plenty left.”
Trained by Wesley Ward and saddled by his assistant, Blake Heap, Richies Party Girl, a 2-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Any Given Saturday, defeated eight rival freshmen, including six males.
Off at 6-1, she paid $15.60, $6.60 and $4.60. Owned by Ward and Richard Raven, she picked up $60,000 for the win, hiking her earnings to $142,287. She now has three wins from six starts.
Toowindytohaulrox, the 5-2 favorite with Joe Talamo, sat midpack a half mile out and was clearly second-best, finishing 6 ¾ lengths in front of Dothraki and Kayla Stra.
“My horse tried but he just got outrun today,” said Talamo. “I got right to the winner at the top of the stretch and the other horse just kept on going. He’s still a nice horse but it wasn’t his day today.”
Toowindytohaulrox, a Kentucky-bred colt by the recently deceased Harlan’s Holiday, paid $4.20 and $2.80.
Dothraki, off at 7-1, had to wait for room crossing the dirt and finished a half length in front of 5-2 second choice Love In The Desert. Dothraki paid $3.60 to show.