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ARCADIA, CA – Alpha Delta Stables’ Rideforthecause rallied hard in the stretch to nail defending champion Dogtag in the shadow of the wire and win Sunday’s $75,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
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Rideforthecause broke from post 7 under Mario Gutierrez at 7/1 odds and settled into a joint tussle for third outside Lady Noguez while Dogtag flanked the outside of Kuora in an early pace duel.
Dogtag dispatched of Kuora heading into the far turn, but Gutierrez timed his move perfectly and kept the Michael McCarthy trainee within striking range of the new leader and 1/2 favorite.
Though Dogtag straightened for home with a strong advantage, Rideforthecause steadily ate into the gap separating them and collared Dogtag near the 1/16 pole before inching forward to win the 1 1/4-mile firm turf route by a head in 2:02.45.
“I knew it was going to be tough to catch (Dogtag), but my filly, every time I would ask her and would push her, she was giving me all she can,” Gutierrez said. “I looked for the wire and it was a little far, so I wasn’t 100% confident, but I knew she was charging all the way until the end.”
Neige Blanche rode the winner’s coattails in the stretch to take third, 3/4 of a length behind Dogtag.
Go Big Blue Nation, Lady Noguez, Catch the Eye, Kuora, and Dynapower completed the order of finish.
Rideforthecause’s win was her first in 4 starts for McCarthy, who assumed duties of the 2020 Canadian Stakes (G2) champion last fall. The Ontario-bred 5-year-old Candy Ride mare, who improved her overall record to 15-5-1-1 with $361,066 earned – was a nose short of winning the local 1 1/2-mile Santa Barbara Stakes (G3) on May 8, a race won by Neige Blanche.
“I think I got to know her a little bit better (after the previous race),” Gutierrez said. “But even last time, if you watch the replay, it was just the luck of the (head-bob).”
Rideforthecause returned $16 to win, $4.60 to place, and $3.20 to show. Dogtag brought back $2.40 to place and $2.10 to show. Neige Blanche paid $3.60 to show.
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