Arizona-Bred Desert Dawn Rallies For Authoritative One Length Win In Grade III, $100,000 La Canada
ARIZONA-BRED DESERT DAWN RALLIES FOR AUTHORITATIVE ONE LENGTH WIN IN GRADE III, $100,000 LA CANADA WITH PRAT AT CONTROLS
RCADIA, CA (Jan. 20, 2024)—A money machine but winless in her last 11 starts, Arizona-bred Desert Dawn, ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, got a waiting ride that produced an authoritative one length score in Saturday’s Grade III, $100,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita. Owned and bred by H & E Ranch, Desert Dawn got a mile and one sixteenth in 1:44.05 and provided trainer Phil D’Amato with his meet-leading fourth stakes victory.
Unhurried in the early going from her number four post position in a field of five older fillies and mares, Desert Dawn was well in hand as she tracked pace setter Musical Mishief while a joint third, about two lengths off the lead heading to the far turn.
Three deep at the quarter pole, Desert Dawn cruised alongside heavily favored Midnight Memories turning for home and blew by to win geared down by a length over a late closing Coffee in Bed.
Most recently second, beaten a length by Midnight Memories at the same distance in the Grade III Bayakoa Stakes at Los Alamitos Dec. 15, Desert Dawn was the second choice today at 9-5 and paid $5.80, $3.00 and $2.10.
A 6-year-old mare by the Tapit stallion Cupid, Desert Dawn is out of the Honour and Glory mare Ashley’s Glory. With her last win coming in the Grade II Santa Anita Oaks on April 9, 2022, she picked up $60,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $956,525. With today’s La Canada standing as her second career stakes win, she improved her overall mark to 19-3-5-5.
Richard Mandella’s Coffee in Bed, attentive to the pace to the far turn, saved ground and tipped out three-wide in pursuit of the winner and ran out of real estate late under Mike Smith. Off at 6-1, she paid $5.40 and $2.10.
Midnight Memories, who handled the winner with consummate ease at Los Alamitos, offered no resistance when challenged turning for home and ended up third, four lengths behind the winner at the wire. Ridden by Juan Hernandez, she was off at 4-5 and paid $2.10 to show.
Fractions on the race were 24.01, 48.61, 1:13.12 and 1:37.86.
In addition to picking up his fourth stakes win through 13 racing days, D’Amato also notched his ninth overall win at the meet, putting him in a three-way tie with Steve Knapp and Mark Glatt.
Prat registered his meet-leading fifth stakes win and with a riding double, moved into a tie with Hernandez atop the standings with 18 victories overall.
Racing resumes with first post time for an eight-race card on Sunday at 12:30 p.m.