Cozi Rosie was too much for even-money choice City to City to handle as she registered her first stakes win in the $100,000 Senorita (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) May 2 on the Hollywood Park grass.
Jockey Mike Smith got Cozi Rosie blocked at the rail in their last race, the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) one month ago in the Santa Anita stretch. So he took no chances with the long-striding Jerry and Ann Moss homebred filly this time around, bringing her three wide around the final turn from the rear of the pack.
Cozi Rosie drew even at mid-stretch with City to City and the tiring pacesetter I'mneverwrong, gained control late and held sway in the closing strides for a one-length victory. City to City, the winner of the Providencia, was nosed at the wire by the late-running Andina for second.
The final time was 1:35.11 in the one-mile test for 3-year-old fillies contested on firm going.
"We were a little unlucky last time," Smith said of Cozi Rosie's Providencia effort. "There was a little tiny opening inside; it wasn't there very long, and I didn't get there in time. Today I was determined to get a clear trip and I did."
Cozi Rosie and Andina raced at the back of the pack as I'mneverwrong set the pace with City to City, ridden by Joel Rosario, much closer in second than she was in the Providencia when she rallied from far back. Fractions were :24.10, :47.91 and 1:11.60.
Smith got Cozi Rosie rolling as they made their way around the turn and they were able to keep Andina, also on the move, to the inside. Andina, with Joe Talamo aboard, was forced to back off and follow Cozi Rosie out of the turn.
Cozi Rosie, under good handling from Smith, closed in on the leaders' outside and had City to City's measure in the final furlong. Andina, as she did when finishing second in the Providencia, closed powerfully but could not make up the ground in time.
"I moved her a little sooner than I wanted, but I didn't want the favorite to get too far away from us," Smith said. "This was another good learning experience for her, and I think she'll move forward in the American Oaks (gr. IT), if that's where they choose to run her."
Trained by John Sadler, Cozi Rosie won her first two starts this year on synthetic tracks before jumping into the Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) for her stakes debut March 6. She finished fifth after stalking the pace, losing by three lengths to the victorious Crisp. The Kentucky-bred daughter of Pleasantly Perfect —Felidia, by Golden Fleece, ran for the first time on grass in the Providencia and finished seventh.
Overall, the chestnut has won three of seven races with earnings of $127,280. The Senorita win was worth $60,000.
"We knew she was capable of winning this," Sadler said. "It's always good to win a graded stakes, especially with a filly. We'll point her for the American Oaks."
The $250,000 American Oaks, at 1 1/4 miles on turf, is July 3.
Sent off as the third choice in the field of seven, Cozi Rosie paid $9.20, $5.20 and $2.40 and teamed with Andina for a $36.20 exacta. The Irish-bred Andina, who finished a half-length behind City to City in the Providencia, returned $4.40 and $2.40. City to City, who had won back-to-back stakes at Santa Anita for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, was $2.10 to show as the 121-pound high weight.
Triple Cream settled for fourth, followed by I'mneverwrong, Hasty and Pulpit Magic. Elusive Galaxy scratched.