ROYAL HEROINE MILE | PURSE: $150,000 | 3-YEAR-OLDS & UP | FILLIES & MARES | GRADE 2 | 1 MILE
Favored Schiaparelli, making her first start around two turns, held on gamely in the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile July 6 at Betfair Hollywood Park for her initial graded stakes score.
With regular pilot Joe Talamo aboard, Schiaparelli led all the way and staved off the stalking Egg Drop by half a length to make it consecutive stakes wins over the Hollywood Park turf course. She won the six-furlong Great Lady M in frontrunning fashion by 2 ½ lengths for her first stakes score May 26.
Schiaparelli, who had never raced longer than 6 ½ furlongs previously, was timed in 1:34.11 for the mile over a firm course. She was sent off as the 11-10 favorite.
"My filly was traveling really well," Talamo said. "I know the fractions were pretty quick but she was doing it well within herself. But I'll tell you what, it was all her. She was pressed all the way, and had to really fight the whole race to get the job done."
Trained by Mike Puype, Schiaparelli is a Kentucky homebred by Ghostzapper out of the multiple graded stakes-winning mare Cambiocorsa, by Avenue of Flags.
Schiaparelli, carrying a feathery 115 pounds, went directly to the front for Talamo and led Egg Drop, ridden by Martin Garcia, by about a length while clipping off sharp fractions of :23.73, :46.74, and 1:09.74. Egg Drop applied some pressure on the leader on the backstretch but Schiaparelli inched away again on the far turn and kicked clear down the lane before being forced to dig in late.
"She did what she was supposed to do, and I think with a legitimate pace," Puype said. "The first fraction looked like it was going to be a walk, but you could see [Schiaparelli and Egg Drop] accelerate. They put up some sprint numbers.
"Maybe the last sixteenth wasn't quite as good as the rest of the race, but it didn't matter, she did what she needed to do," Puype added. "I don't know what we're going to do next, but we'll probably keep her long on turf."
There was a mishap leaving the quarter pole when the advancing Stormy Lucy appeared to clip heels with Egg Drop and nearly went down.
Egg Drop continued willingly into the stretch and was getting to the winner, who was in front at the furlong pole by 1 ½ lengths, before she ran out of time. Egg Drop finished 4 ½ lengths clear of third-place finisher My Gi Gi, the 121-pound high weight in the field of five older fillies and mares. I Dazzle and Stormy Lucy, who weakened in the stretch, followed the first three.
Schiaparelli posted her fifth win from nine lifetime starts and boosted her career bankroll to $274,184. She paid $4.20, $3, and $2.40, and keyed a $26.20 exacta. Egg Drop, stepping into graded company after a smart 6-furlong allowance score on the Hollywood turf May 24, returned $6.20 and $4.60. My Gi Gi, ridden by Edwin Maldonado, paid $4.