ARCADIA, CA – Reddam Racing’s homebred How About Zero used her momentum coming down the hillside course to win convincingly in Saturday’s $150,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint Stakes at Santa Anita.
Off well from post 6 under Mario Gutierrez, How About Zero sat mid-pack while the favored Miss Sunset set initial splits of :22.13 and :44.55. Commencing a rally as the field crossed over the course’s brief dirt section, How About Zero hit the top of the stretch three-wide and under a full head of steam. Taking command in the final furlong, How About Zero continued steadily edging away, hitting the wire first in a final time of 1:13.10 for the 6 1/2-furlong event.
“I had a perfect trip,” Gutierrez said. “She’s proven that she likes to run down the hill a little bit fresh. It worked perfect. She’s a really good filly. We haven’t gotten a distance yet but I still feel she can run the mile or 1 1/16, too.”
Barbara Beatrice, near the rear early after breaking from the rail, hit the top of the stretch following the eventual winner and was able to rally up late for second by a nose over Miss Sunset. How Unusual necked out fourth over Cuddle Alert, with Run for Retts, Late ‘n Left, and Starlite Style completing the order of finish.
Trained by Doug O’Neill, the 4-year-old daughter of Square Eddie improved her record to 12-3-5-0 with career earnings of $343,950.
“There was a conversation this morning (about strategy) between Doug, Mario, and Mr. Reddam, and things worked out well,” said Leandro Mora, O’Neill’s assistant. “She was in a perfect position down the backside and this filly’s been very honest for us. We knew she liked this downhill course, and now she’s two-for-two.”
How About Zero returned $6.40 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.40 to show. Barbara Beatrice brought back $4.20 to place and $2.80 to show, while Miss Sunset paid $2.60 to show.