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ARCADIA, CA – Trainer Richard Baltas made it a coast-to-coast graded stakes Saturday when Lady Ninja got up in the shadow of the wire to nip Selcourt in the $100,000 L.A. Woman Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 2 under Drayden Van Dyke as the 5/2 third choice, Lady Ninja saved ground heading down the backstretch while stalking Selcourt, who shot to the early lead and posted opening fractions of :21.44 and :44.13.
Off the far turn, Van Dyke tipped Lady Ninja out, angled her past Anonymity, and began reeling in the pacesetter. In the shadow of the wire, Lady Ninja got her nose in front as the two mares hit the wire in a final time of 1:16.79 for the 6 1/2-furlong sprint over the fast main track.
“She broke good today,” Van Dyke said. “After that, I had to wait and see where I could get out. When (Anonymity) backed out, I was able to get outside of Selcourt, and from there, she was really game.”
Sent off as the slight 6/5 favorite, Anonymity had nothing left in the stretch and finished third, 5 1/4 lengths behind the top pair. Following the race, her ownership group confirmed that she would be retired. Show It N Moe It and Streak of Luck completed the order of finish.
Flor de La Mar scratched in favor of an allowance event here on Thursday.
Lady Ninja’s win was her fifth in her past eight and first against stakes foes to improve her record to 22-8-4-4. The 5-year-old daughter of Majesticperfection, claimed for $32,000 on September 1, 2018, has now amassed $321,705 for co-owners Baltas, Harry Bederian, Harout Kamberian, and Hagop Nakkashian.
“She’s been in those stretch duels before and she’s won ’em,” Baltas said. “I know that she ran her race today. She’s been an overachiever, that’s all I can tell you. She came from the inside today and she split horses and she grinded it out. I’m happy.”
Lady Ninja returned $7.40 to win, $3.40 to place, and $2.10 to show. Selcourt brought back $3.20 to place and $2.10 to show, while Anonymity paid $2.10 to show.
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