CYPRESS, CA – Marley’s Freedom made easy work of a star-studded field when she won Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos. This was the third consecutive win for the four-year-old daughter of Blame and her second consecutive stakes victory following her win last time out in the G3 Desert Stormer.
It was the G2 Great Lady M defending champion, Skye Diamonds, who shot out to take the early lead, however, her lead was not given freely. Phantom Proton quickly got up along the rail to contest the lead as the duo set early fractions of :22.09 and :44.03 with the rest of the field close behind. As they hit the top of the stretch, Marley’s Freedom absolutely exploded as she ran on to win giving jockey Drayden Van Dyke nothing to worry about. Skye Diamonds held on for second and Phantom Proton finished third.
“I ride her with a lot of confidence,” said jockey Drayden Van Dyke. “The plan was to take her back and make a run and she gave me a real nice turn of foot. Skye Diamonds fought gamely, but I knew we had her measured.’’
Assistant Trainer Mike Marlow said of Marley’s Freedom after the race, “We just wanted her to break and then let her relax. I didn’t anticipate her being that far back, but that is kind of where she wants to be. He kept her in the clear and rode her like he was on the best horse. She could be a lot of fun the rest of the year. We’re off to a good start.”
Marley’s Freedom returned $2.40 to win, $2.10 to place. Skye Diamonds brought back $2.40 to place. There was no show wagering.