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ARCADIA, CA – After coming close but narrowly missing in her two most recent graded stakes attempts, Lady Prancealot finally broke through for her first big score, rallying from near-last to win Saturday’s $150,000 Honeymoon Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from the rail under Joe Talamo at 3/1 odds, Lady Prancealot took back while Holly Hundy posted opening fractions of :23.69, :48.79, and 1:13.53. Swung out wide at the top of the stretch, Lady Prancealot rallied strongly, cutting across the lawn sharply and gobbling up ground.
Collaring new leader Hostess late, Lady Prancealot’s momentum pushed her to the front just in time. The Richard Baltas trainee crossed with a 3/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:49.08 for the 1 1/8-mile event over the firm turf course.
“I waited a little longer today,” Talamo said. “Last time, I probably moved a touch early. Today, I waited, and sure enough, turning for home, she switched leads and really cut. She’s very handy, very relaxed, and she has that turf turn of foot.”
Over Emphasize finished 1 1/2 lengths behind Hostess in third, while Seranitsa dropped back to fourth after failing to capitalize on her early stalking trip. The 2/1 favorite Maxim Rate appeared to flatten out in the stretch before finishing fifth. An empty Holly Hundy outkicked only Dr Wysong, who lacked any rally whatsoever before completing the order of finish.
Lady Prancealot’s win was her second of the year, having taken an allowance event here on February 1 to start the year, and improved her career record to 13-3-4-2. The Irish-bred 3-year-old daughter of Sir Prancealot increased her earnings mark to $219,341 for co-owners Craig and Josie Arntz, Donald Durando, Jules and Michael Iavarone, and Jerry McClanahan.
“It is so exciting to win any race, but to win this kind of race is very exciting,” McClanahan said. “The more ground, the better for this filly. She tries so hard and she’s so exciting. Every time we run her, she shows them what she’s made of. I didn’t know if they were going fast enough, but as she made her move, they started to come back a little more and we felt good about it. If you have a horse like this that tries as hard as she does, you always have a shot.”
Lady Prancealot returned $8.40 to win, $4 to place, and $3 to show. Hostess brought back $3.80 to place and $3.20 to show, while Over Emphasize paid $4.80 to show.
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