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ARCADIA, CA – The rainy may have pushed the race off of the turf, but KMN Racing’s homebred Apache Princess paid it no mind as she splashed home strongly to win Saturday’s $100,000 Sweet Life Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from the rail under Kent Desormeaux as the 6/5 favorite, Apache Princess remained tucked inside while Nomizar posted opening fractions of :22.35 and :45.12. Still saving ground as a trio of foes created a blockade in front of her, Apache Princess bided her time until a hole opened along the rail nearing the exit. Bursting through sharply, Apache Princess straightened for home suddenly in the lead and beginning to draw off. Though Desormeaux lost his whip near the 1/8 pole, Apache Princess remained confidently handled the length of the stretch, clearing away to win by 3 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:16.82. the 6 1/2-furlong event was initially scheduled for the downhill turf course, but due to safety reasons, it was moved to the wet fast (sealed) main track.
That’s embarrassing, but (it’s) the second time I’ve done that (dropped the whip) with her and she’s won the race for me,” Desormeaux said. “She proves that she doesn’t need it, she just needs encouragement with my mouth. If I kiss at her, shake the reins at her, throw crosses and she continues…”
After keeping close watch over the pacesetter, Thriving appeared poised to pounce off the turn, but she was unable to keep up with the winner and just managed to nose out Splashy Kisses for second. Nomizar weakened to fourth, while Full Eclipse was a half-beat slow coming out of the gate and never advanced from the rear before completing the order of finish. Ginger Nut was scratched once the event was moved off of the turf.
Apache Princess’ win was her third straight after unsuccessfully attempting to break her maiden three times and improved her overall record to 6-3-2-0. The 3-year-old daughter of Unusual Heat, conditioned by Kent’s brother Keith Desormeaux, now carries a lifetime bankroll of $171,960 following her first career stakes score.
“I picked this up off the track for you,” Keith told Kent in the winner’s circle as he handed him his whip. “Thanks for the ride.”
Apache Princess returned $4.60 to win, $2.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Thriving brought back $3.80 to place and $2.60 to show, while Splashy Kisses paid $2.40 to show.
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