A LITTLE BIT ME RALLIES FOR IMPRESSIVE 2 ½ LENGTH WIN IN $59,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE UNDER PRAT, IN HER FIRST START OFF THE CLAIM FOR BALTAS, SHE GETS 6 ½ FURLONGS DOWN HILLSIDE TURF IN 1:12.58
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 4, 2019)–In her first start off a $40,000 claim for trainer Richard Baltas, A Little Bit Me gave every indication she’s ready to play with the big girls, as she rallied to an impressive 2 ½ length win in Santa Anita’s $59,000 allowance feature on Friday. Ridden for the first time by Flavien Prat, the 5-year-old mare by The Factor got 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course in 1:12.58.
Unhurried early in a field of seven older fillies and mares, A Little Bit Me was a joint third, about three lengths off the lead at the dirt crossing and easily overhauled Travieza a sixteenth of a mile out while never threatened by favored Tonahutu, who finished second.
Claimed for $40,000 out of a second place finish going a mile on turf Nov. 22 at Del Mar, A Little Bit Me was off as the second choice at 2-1 and paid $6.40, $3.00 and $2.20.
“She came out of a really good race and she was in great shape when I claimed her,” said Baltas. “The winner of that race (Amandine) is a really good filly and she came back and won a stake here on opening day (ungraded Lady of Shamrock, at one mile on turf and was subsequently third in the Grade I American Oaks here on Dec. 29). She’s been training great and she ran that way.”
Owned by Chris Johnson, A Little Bit Me hadn’t won since taking a hillside allowance seven starts back on April 26, 2018. With today’s win, she notched her second win down the hill from eight tries and improved her overall mark to 22-4-3-5. With the winner’s share of $35,400, she increased her earnings to $151,925.
Off as the 8-5 favorite following a sixth place finish in a one mile turf restricted stakes Nov. 9 at Del Mar, Tonahutu rallied nicely from off the pace but could not get on terms with the winner, even well past the wire into the Club House turn.
With Joel Rosario up, Tonahutu finished one length in front of Travieza and paid $2.80 and $2.20.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Travieza was off at 9-2 and paid $2.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.35, 43.46 and 1:06.52.
Special early first post time for a 10-race card on Saturday is at 12 noon. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.