Ruby Nell Dominant On The Front-End & Takes Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes
RUBY NELL DOMINANT ON THE FRONT-END & TAKES GRADE III, $100,000 AUTUMN MISS STAKES BY 3 ¼ LENGTHS AS MANDELLA CELEBRATES 73RD BIRTHDAY
ARCADIA, CA (Nov. 5, 2023)—Who better to have on a front-runner than Edwin Maldonado? Answer: No one. With Maldonado at the controls Richard Mandella’s Ruby Nell, despite stumbling at the break, was in complete command throughout as she took Sunday’s closing day co-feature at Santa Anita, the Grade III, $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes, winning by 3 ¼ lengths over heavily favored Anisette while getting a mile on turf in 1:32.67.
With four scratches reducing the Autumn Miss to a field of seven sophomore fillies, Ruby Nell had a five-length advantage over longshot Justique around the first turn and widened from there, opening up by eight lengths turning for home in a literal cakewalk on Mandella’s 73rd birthday.
“She’s really gifted, a very good filly,” said the Hall of Fame conditioner. “…She stumbled leaving the gate today and off terrible (but) she looked so relaxed. I thought well, maybe he will tuck her right in there and she got a head of steam and when she does, she’s pretty strong.”
A winner of the ungraded Unzip Me Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course on Oct. 1, Ruby Nell was off as the second choice in the wagering at 5-2 and paid $7.60, $3.40 and $2.20.
A daughter of Bolt d’Oro out of the Not For Love mare Rich Love, Ruby Nell, who sold for $1.2 million out of 2-year-old in training sale in March of 2022, now has four wins, two seconds and a third place finish from eight starts. With the winner’s cut of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $258,520.
“She is a very versatile filly,” said Maldonado, who notched his second win of the 19-day meet. “When we ran down the hill, naturally, there was a lot more speed than going a mile, so she kind of fell back…We knew with the today that she was the lone speed but nevertheless, we were trying not to rush anything.
“Wherever she broke, wherever she was, we were happy with. She just won it her way today.”
Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Anisette fell victim to a lone speed scenario and although she put in a good run, it wasn’t nearly enough. A Grade I winner, English-bred Anisette was off at 3-5 and paid $2.40 and $2.10.
Breath Away, an ungraded stakes winner ridden by Joel Rosario, had been idle since June 24 at Belmont Park. Making her Southern California debut for Christophe Clemente, the English-bred was off at 9-1 and paid $3.20 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.61, 45.46, 1:08.67 and 1:20.60.
Live racing resumes at Santa Anita with opening day for the track’s Classic Meeting on Dec. 26.