HARD NOT TO LOVE COMES OFF THE BENCH TO TAKE $53,000 SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE BY THREE QUARTERS OF A LENGTH UNDER SMITH; TRAINED BY SHIRREFFS, SHE GETS SIX FURLONGS IN 1:10.11
ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 25, 2019)–Idle since May 4, trainer John Shirreffs’ talented 3-year-old filly Hard Not to Love returned to the races in style today at Santa Anita, as she outran heavily favored Anuket through the lane to take the day’s $53,000 allowance feature by three quarters of a length. Ridden for the first time by Mike Smith, she got six furlongs in a rapid 1:10.11.
A close third while three deep just to the outside of Anuket a quarter mile from home, Hard Not to Love drifted outward just a bit turning into the stretch and prevailed in a very impressive effort over a main track that has been producing slower times.
“Mike has worked her the last three or four times and he’s gotten very familiar with her,” said Shirreffs. “She’s been a little tough going to the gate, but as you saw, Mike got her there with no problem today. He knows what he can control and he knows what she’s capable of and lets her do it.”
Off at 9-2 in a field of five sophomore fillies, Hard Not to Love paid $11.40, $6.20 and $2.40.
A Kentucky-bred daughter of Hard Spun out of the Vindication mare Loving Vindication, Hard Not to Love is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, Mercedes Stables LLC, Scott Dilworth, Dorothy Ingordo, David Ingordo and Steve Mooney. With today’s win, she’s now 4-3-0-1. The winner’s check of $31,800 increases her earnings to $108,480.
Ridden by Flavien Prat, Madame Vestal, last early, unleashed a big rally to catch Anuket on the money while finishing second by a head. Off at 3-1, Madame Vestal paid $4.20 and $2.10.
Ridden by apprentice J.C. Diaz, Jr., Anuket was off at 1-2 and paid $2.10 to show while finishing a head in front of Show It N Moe It.
Fractions on the race were 22.23, 45.46 and 57.58.
Racing resumes with a nine race card on Saturday. First post time is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanta.com or call (626) 574-RACE.