GREAT LADY M. STAKES | PURSE: $200,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | GRADE 2 | 6 1/2 FURLONGS
Making her second start of the year, Doinghardtimeagain returned to winning form with a perfect stalking trip for jockey Mike Smith in the $200,000 Great Lady M. Stakes July 12 at Los Alamitos Race Course.
Smith, who said the California-bred daughter of Ministers Wild Cat "felt strong the entire way," rode her confidently to victory for owner/breeder Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer at odds of nearly 4-1.
The Hall of Fame rider completed a sweep of the the graded stakes at the brief Los Alamitos summer stand after guiding Shared Belief to victory for Hollendorfer in the Los Alamitos Derby July 5. The 6 ½-furlong Great Lady M. was renamed by Los Alamitos after previously being contested as the A Gleam Stakes at Hollywood Park.
Doinghardtimeagain registered a 1 ¼-length victory in the Great Lady M., overtaking pacesetter Amaranth approaching mid-stretch to win in a quick time of 1:15.59 over a fast track. Amaranth, ridden by Dennis Carr, was second, 1 ½ lengths in front of Sagebrush Queen and Edwin Maldonado.
Grade 1 winner Heir Kitty, scheduled to be sold during the Del Mar Paddock Sale July 20, finished a disappointing fifth as the 3-2 favorite in the field of seven fillies and mares.
Breaking from the far outside post, Doinghardtimeagain was ideally positioned in fourth early as Amaranth forged the early lead over Tres Belle by one length and led through an opening quarter mile of :22.79 seconds and a half in :45.01 seconds. Amaranth led by about 1 ½ lengths at the quarter pole while Doinghardtimeagain advanced into second, three paths wide. Doinghardtimeagain challenged the stubborn front-runner through the lane, nabbing the lead with more than a furlong to run and getting clear under urging from Smith.
"She kicked home nicely," said Smith, who added that he was impressed by the new Los Alamitos dirt racing surface.
Four-year-old Doinghardtimeagain won last summer's Hollywood Oaks on Cushion Track but went to the sidelines after weakening to finish ninth in the Del Mar Oaks on the turf Aug. 17. She returned to action for Hollendorfer June 15, running last of five in the Desert Stormer Stakes June 15 when forced extremely wide after stalking the pace.
"I think I didn't have her ready last time and that's as honest as I can be," Hollendorfer said. "I'll take the blame. She's kind of big and a little bit heavy, so I didn't have her as ready as I could have. She can do everything pretty well on any surface. It's nice to have a horse like that. Mike rode her perfect, so I'm very happy."
Doinghardtimeagain banked $120,000 for her sixth lifetime win from 13 starts with three seconds, good for $708,766 in earnings. Carrying 119 pounds, she paid $9.80, $5, and $4.20 while keying a $78.60 exacta.
Amaranth, whose three-race winning streak for trainer O.J. Jauregui ended, returned $7.80 and $5.20. Sagebrush Queen, who won the Desert Stormer for trainer Jorge Gutierrez last time, paid $5.40 to show.
Carr, aboard the runner-up, said his saddle slipped up to the filly's withers going into the turn. "It didn't cost her the win, but I wanted to make sure she didn't lose the place," he said.
It was 4 ¼ lengths back to fourth-place finisher Clearly Confused, followed by 121-pound highweight Heir Kitty, Concave, and Tres Belle.
Doinghardtimeagain is the first stakes winner out of the winning Conquistador Cielo mare Silver Hawk Lady, an earner of $124,320 whose two earlier foals are also winners.