ARCADIA, CA – It took a thrilling stretch run to do it, but Reddam Racing’s Mopotism won her first career graded stakes race, beating a pair of rivals by a head in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita.
Off well from post 4 under Mario Gutierrez, Mopotism was much more forwardly placed than in the past, closely stalking Mended through fractions of :23.81, :47.94, and 1:12.32. Midway through the far turn, Mopotism commenced her rally along the outside and reeled in the leader near the 1/8 pole. Mended, however, refused to give in and dug in gamely, fighting back hard and matching her rival stride for stride. Meanwhile, La Force took up her own rally along the inside and found an opening along the rail, and stuck her nose in at the 1/16 pole. The trio were nostrils apart coming to the wire, but a perfectly-timed head bob from Mopotism was the deciding factor in a final time of 1:37.29 for the mile-long event.
“The thing about Mopotism is that she has a lot of heart,” Gutierrez said. “We had a better trip this time and I was able to move her, even though I had to move her a little earlier than I wanted. She’s fit so she got us to the wire and we got the bob.”
Mended was determined to be a head in front of La Force for second. The trio finished 2 1/2 lengths ahead of fourth-place Shenandoah Queen, who nosed out the favored Majestic Heat. Sixth went to Sandy’s Surprise, with Union Strike and Resky Business completing the order of finish.
With the win and the $120,000 winner’s share of the purse, Mopotism improved her record to 15-3-4-2 with career earnings of $561,200. The Doug O’Neill-trained 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo last visited victory lane after taking the $75,000 Island Fashion Stakes at Sunland Park on February 26, 2017, but has been graded stakes-placed three times in eight starts since, all against graded company.
“This is a good filly,” said Leandro Mora, assistant trainer for O’Neill. “She’s always been a good filly and we know she can run with any Grade 1 horses. She needs to learn how to win and today should be a big step in the right direction. She is more than capable of doing this.”
Mopotism returned $6.80 to win, $3.60 to place, and $3 to show. Mended brought back $6.20 to place and $4 to show, while La Force paid $7.40 to show.