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ARCADIA, CA – Fresh off her maiden-breaking effort against open company in her routing debut, Fi Fi Pharoah circled the field in the far turn and outkicked Eddie’s New Dream in the stretch to win Saturday’s $150,000 Melair Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
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Fi Fi Pharoah broke from post 3 under Umberto Rispoli as the 2/1 favorite in the field of seven California-bred 3-year-old fillies and tucked in along the rail heading into the clubhouse turn.
Mucha Woman posted opening fractions of :23.49, :47.47, and 1:12.93 while Omg It’s Jessica gave closest watch, but the two hit a proverbial wall in the far turn as Eddie’s New Dream swept past three-wide to take command.
After navigating between and around rivals while turning, Fi Fi Pharoah presented a considerable challenge to the new leader that proved too much to withstand.
The Walther Solis trainee bested a game Eddie’s New Dream by a 1/2-length, stopping the clock in 1:46.41 for the 1 1/16-mile fast dirt route.
“I’ve been working with her and I’ve been really pleased with her,” Rispoli said. “I kept telling Walther she’s getting better and better. She’s so lazy. In the mornings, she won’t give you anything until she reaches the 1/4 pole and takes off, so that’s what I was expecting for the race. I knew the pace was on, so I stayed inside because she doesn’t mind staying back until I find a nice gap.”
I’m So Anna took third by 6 1/4 lengths over a three-way photo for fourth between Pawnee, Mucha Woman, and Smoothlikebuttah, respectively. Omg It’s Jessica completed the order of finish. Misty Cat scratched.
Fi Fi Pharoah’s win improved her overall record to 5-2-1-1 with $178,560 earned. Terry Lovinger bred the daughter of American Pharoah and co-owns her with Tom Beckerle and Amanda Navarro.
“You can’t have a more special day,” Lovinger said. “To breed them and then foal them out at the farm, to watch the birth, I mean she stood up in 15 minutes, she’s probably about 165 pounds right away. I have video of her nuzzling me from the moment she stood up. There’s nothing better. It’s just great.”
Fi Fi Pharoah returned $6 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.60 to show. Eddie’s New Dream brought back $4 to place and $2.80 to show. I’m So Anna paid $2.40 to show.
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