ARCADIA, CA – Cordiality cruised to victory after sitting off of a comfortable pace in Saturday’s $100,000 Fran’s Valentine Stakes at Santa Anita. This was the first try with stakes company for the four-year-old Cal-Bred and her second win this calendar year.
Cordiality got a great jump from the gate and looked to be the early leader as they hit the first turn, however, Shy Carmilita insisted on setting the pace as she moved in front of Cordiality to set fractions of :24.27, 48.68, and 1:12.40. The morning line favorite, Moonless Sky, broke poorly, sat mid-pack, and was never a threat as she finished a distant eighth. Cheekaboo and Dessert Steel meanwhile both sat comfortably mid-pack and stayed put until they had entered the final turn. As they hit the top of the stretch, Cordiality had pulled ahead of Shy Carmilita and eventually held on to win. Cheekaboo made a strong late move to finish third, three lengths behind Shy Carmilita, and Dessert Steel finished fourth.
Jockey Gary Stevens was given the mount aboard Cordiality after Baze, who was scheduled to ride Cordiality, was transported to the hospital following a spill in a race earlier that day. It was later reported that Baze was released from the hospital and is doing well. After the race, Stevens said, “she settled real nice, but I kept wondering, ‘Where is all this sprint speed in here?’ As it was, we got away with a half in 48 and three and she exploded the last three-sixteenths.”
“I thought there would be lot stronger pace today, to be honest,” said trainer Mark Glatt. “This mare is versatile enough though that she can be up close, and they obviously walked early-on, so she was up close, but I think she could have laid third or fourth too.”
Cordiality returned $11.20 to win, $5.40 to place, and $4.00 to show. Shy Carmelita brought back $6.60 to place and $5.20 to show, while Cheekaboo paid $6.20 to show.
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