FRENCH-BRED NEIGE BLANCHE GOES GATE TO WIRE IN WINNING $100,000 POSSIBLY PERFECT STAKES BY ONE LENGTH AS SHE NOTCHES HER THIRD STAKES WIN OF THE WINTER/SPRING MEET
ARCADIA, Calif. (June 19, 2022)–Winless in six turf tries at the distance, trainer Leonard Powell’s Neige Blanche was all business as the 1-2 favorite in Sunday’s $100,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes at Santa Anita as she led throughout en route to a superb one length win, getting a mile and one quarter on turf under Juan Hernandez in 2:01.34.
In a change of tactics, Neige Blanche, who had already bagged a pair of graded stakes wins at the meet going a mile and one half on turf, sped to the lead out of the gate and held off a three-horse charge late to prevail under a hand ride from the meet’s leading rider.
“In the warm-up, I took her off the pony and I was galloping by myself and I felt that she was really strong,” said Hernandez, who bagged his 24th stakes win and 103rd overall win of the meet that ends today. “I was thinking that she was going to show a little speed, but not go wire to wire. She broke really sharp out of the gate, and I just let her go. She was comfortable all the way to the wire.”
Owned by Madaket Stables, LLC, Laura De Seroux, Marsha Naify and Mathilde Powell, 5-year-old Neige Blanche, who came off an impressive win in the Grade III Santa Barbara Stakes May 14, was off as the 1-2 favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares three and up and paid $3.00, $2.40 and $2.10.
With her fifth graded stakes victory and her fourth win in her last five starts, Neige Blanche is now 19-9-0-4 and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased her earnings to $540,280.
“I knew she could handle the distance,” said Powell, himself a 45-year-old native Frenchman. “There were a couple of times she ran some really good races at a mile and a quarter…(The distance) is right up her alley if she gets the right trip. It’s very satisfying because we put in a lot of work, day in and day out, and the horses that show up like her every time–When you put the bridle on them it’s exciting.”
A length and a half on top turning for home, Neige Blanche was never threatened by a threesome that included her stablemate Keyflower, Scarabea and Freedom Lass, who were separated by less than a length on the money.
The place photo went to Kentucky invader Scarabea, who finished a head in front of Freedom Lass under Declan Cannon and paid $5.00 and $4.40 while off at 8-1.
Freedom Lass, ridden by Tyler Baze, was off at 6-1 and paid $3.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 24.67, 49.28, 1:13.96 and 1:37.79.