Citronnade Wins Punchless Beverly Hills

Citronnade Wins Punchless Beverly Hills
Photo: Benoit
Citronnade, with David Flores up, wins the Beverly Hills Handicap, Sunday at Hollywood Park.
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If there was any hope for Citronnade's four opponents in $150,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) on the turf at Hollywood Park, it was that the Bobby Frankel trained filly had never run as far as Sunday's 1 1/4-mile distance. It hardly mattered when the smooth striding bay dominated every step of the way to win by 2 1/2 lengths.

Frank Stronach's grade I winning 4-year-old daughter of Lemon Drop Kid   earned her fifth successive victory and hardly broke a sweat as the prohibitive favorite on a sultry day in Inglewood. The homebred completed the 10 furlongs in 2:01 2/5 while carrying high weight of 122 pounds.

"It looked like a workout didn’t it?" said Frankel assistant Humberto Ascanio.

Breaking from the rail for David Flores, Citronnade angled off the inside shortly after the start, established a daylight lead and was never in danger. As she cantered through the stretch, Flores kept checking to his right to see if there were any challenges coming, but he hardly needed to bother.

Citronnade won under a snug hold after carving glacial fractions -- :25, :50 and 1:14 1/5. The stalking Andrea and Frankel stablemate Naughty Rafaela were both pulling to challenge but neither could muster a serious bid when it was time to go. The New Zealand-bred Andrea finished second, 1 3/4 lengths in front of the fading Brazilian mare Naughty Rafaela, the second choice. She won a three-way photo for third by a head over Mabadi, who was a nose better than another Brazilian bred, Nakaba.

“She just enjoys running," Flores said of Citronnade. "She was just galloping ... she wasn't even trying. I was sitting chilly and when she felt them getting close, I mean she just goes. After the wire, she felt a horse coming and she wanted to go again. It's been a while since I rode a horse like this one.”

Citronnade showed her quality in her previous start, going gate to wire in the Gamely (gr. I) at nine furlongs on the Hollywood grass May 28. Since shifted to the West Coast by Frankel last fall, the bay has won five stakes in a row, including the San Gorgonio (gr. IIT) and Santa Ana (gr. IIT) handicaps. A winner eight times in 11 starts with a pair of seconds, Citronnade bumped her earnings to $657,080 with Sunday's $90,000 purse. She is out of the Lord At War mare Primarily,

"I was actually nervous saddling this filly today but I knew she was confident," Ascanio said. "We like to give her a little time off because she runs really well when she’s fresh. I had no doubts that she could handle this distance; she’s just a really nice filly. She’s going to get some time off and then we are going to ship her to Arlington Park for the Beverly D. Handicap.”

The Beverly D. (gr. IT), at 1 3/16 miles, is Aug. 11.

Citronnade paid $2.40, $2.10 and $2.10. Andrea, ridden by Michael Baze, returned $6 and $3. Naughty Rafaela, Alex Solis aboard, was $2.10 to show.

(Chart, Equibase)

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