ARCADIA, CA – Bad Boy Racing’s Danuska’s My Girl made every step a winning one, trouncing her foes from start to finish in Sunday’s Las Flores Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking well from post 6 under Geovanni Franco at 20/1 odds, Danuska’s My Girl separated herself down the backside while running off of the rail through opening fractions of :21.63 and :44.83. Still off the rail through the far turn, Danuska’s My Girl kept the even-money favorite Dream Tree stuck wide, a move that may have proven the difference. Continuing to run strongly the length of the stretch, Danuska’s My Girl drew clear late before crossing with a 3 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:10.23 for the 7-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“Danuska’s got such a big heart,” Franco said. “Today, the only way to steal this race was to just go. I knew she would fight them off whenever they got close to her and she sure did. She could feel Emboldened coming (late) and she just kept on going. I let her know Dream Tree was coming and she responded well; she was still finishing strong.”
Emboldened came running four-wide into the stretch and was able to get up for second at the wire by a neck over Show It N Moe It, with Lady Suebee another head behind in fourth. Dream Tree’s wide run took its toll late as the bettors’ choice weakened to a disappointing fifth. Spectator took sixth over Phantom Proton and Amuse, with Moon Kitty and True Royalty completing the order of finish.
Danuska’s My Girl’s win was her third straight, all with Franco in the saddle, and came in her stakes debut. The 5-year-old daughter of Shackleford now carries a record of 13-4-2-4 with $198,810 earned.
“No question, Geovanni’s made a big difference with this mare,” said assistant trainer Dan Ward, Jr. “We like the way he rides. He’s aggressive and they run for him. We nominated to this race because it looked like all the top sprinters ran last week in the Beholder Mile (G1). I didn’t see a lot of speed. I thought, if she breaks out of there well, she will be very tough, she usually is when on the lead. Also, when she works, she won’t let anyone by her. She won long last time, she’s done really well with Geovanni, and the time in between races didn’t bother me because she likes the time.”
Danuska’s My Girl returned $43.20 to win, $15.60 to place, and $8.60 to show. Emboldened brought back $5.60 to place and $3.80 to show, while Show It N Moe It paid $3.40 to show.