ARCADIA, CA – A patient ride and huge late burst of speed was the key to success for Iridessa who won Saturday’s $2 million Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
Mirth shot to the front and set speedy fractions of :23.45, :46.45, and 1:09.68 as the rest of the field lined up behind her. Vasilika was patiently off the leader followed by Iridessa and Castle Lady with the rest of the field in a single file line. The 4-5 post time favorite Sistercharlie sat back mid-pack. Into the final turn, Mirth’s monster lead began to dwindle and the rest of the field picked it up as they approached the top of the stretch. Sistercharlie flew up from the rear but it was too little and too late. The well-positioned Iridessa, ridden by Wayne Lordan, was able to fight off Vasilika to win by a neck. Sistercharlie settled for third followed by Fanny Logan and Just Wonderful.
“Unbelievable feeling,” said winning jockey Wayne Lordan. “She was so tough to dig in deep and hold on. It was some performance.”
Fleeting and Thais were scratched.
The three-year-old Joseph O’Brien trainee was bred in Ireland by Whisperview Trading Ltd. and owned by Mrs. C.C. Regalado-Gonzalez. Her win here today brought her career winnings just shy of $2 million and mark her fourth career Grade/Group 1 win.
“Obviously I know how tough it is to come in here to compete,” said trainer O’Brien. She’s always done very well. She runs consistently well in all the big races.”
Iridessa returned $28.40 to win, $11.20 to place, and $5.00 to show. Vasilika brought back $5.40 to place and $3.20 to show, while Sistercharlie paid $2.20 to show.