ARCADIA, CA – For the second straight race, Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners’ She’s So Special toppled the boys – this time while making her stakes-level debut – in Saturday’s $75,000 Desert Code Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking well from post 2 under Flavien Prat as the 7/5 favorite, She’s So Special sat off slightly while Phantom Boss led from the rail inside of Party Town. Together, the two blitzed through an opening 1/4-mile in :20.76 heading into the far turn.
At the top of the stretch, it was still anyone’s race to win as the field was still tightly-bunched. After waiting for the right running lane to open, Prat found a seam between horses in mid-stretch and placed She’s So Special through it.
Bursting ahead gamely in the shadow of the wire, She’s So Special crossed a 1/2-length clear in a final time of 1:01.52 for the 5 1/2-furlong firm turf sprint.
The winner’s Peter Miller stablemate El Tigre Terrible looked loaded nearing the exit of the far turn, but he lacked room after being stuck on the inside and was forced to wait until the 1/16 pole to swing out. Once clear, he and jockey Ruben Fuentes flew hard and nailed Mr. Eidson by a head for second, then outran the field by a good margin after the wire.
Despite not being strong enough to hold off the top runners, Phantom Boss fought gamely along the rail to keep fourth by a neck over Rookie Mistake and Party Town, who dead-heated for fifth to complete the order of finish.
She’s So Special’s win improved her overall record to 9-4-1-3 with $157,580 earned. The 3-year-old Hard Spun filly has won 3 of her past 4 starts and 4 of her past 6, all coming in 2020.
She’s So Special returned $4.80 to win, $3 to place, and $2.40 to show. El Tigre Terrible brought back $4.60 to place and $2.60 to show, while Thanks Mr. Eidson paid $3 to show.