New Zealand-bred Janeian took command near the eighth pole and easily held off the challenge of favored Katdogawn to win the $100,000-added Royal Heroine (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Saturday.
A 6-year-old mare trained by Bret Calhoun for owner Greg England, Janeian, a daughter of The Jogger, shipped from Lone Star Park for her first graded stakes win.
Ridden by Kent Desormeaux, Janeian settled in behind early pacesetter Hippogator and Sparkling Ava, angled out on the turn for home and stormed to the lead. Katdogawn, at the rear of the seven-horse field, rallied along the inside in the lane for Mike Smith, but was no match for the winner, who won by about two lengths. Makeup Artist, also closing from behind settled for third. The final time for the mile was 1:34 3/5.
Desormeaux said Janeian has a tendency to relax once she gets the lead.
"She kind of sprinted on past the leader, then said, 'Okay, I'm done.' The only encouragement I really had to give her was just to keep extending her legs the last 115 yards, and she did just that. When we were 50 out, I felt safe."
Hippogator, with Javier Santiago aboard, clicked off moderate fractions of :23 3/5 and :47 1/5, giving way to Sparkling Ava on the turn after six furlongs in 1:11. The final quarter-mile was completed in :23 3/5.
"The race set up just like we wanted it to set up," said Calhoun, a 40-year-old native of Grand Prairie, Texas, who won his second graded stakes since becoming a trainer in 1993. "She relaxed nicely early on. Kent rode her with a lot of confidence. They didn't go extremely fast the first quarter. I was a little concerned, but she was in a great spot and picked it up the second quarter."
Janeian, who won the seven-furlong Irving Distaff on the Lone Star grass April 17, won for the second time in three starts this year. She was coming off a game second to Academic Angel by three-quarters of a length in the WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Lone Star May 31.
Overall, she won for the ninth time in a 32-race career while pushing her career bankroll over the $335,000 mark.
She paid $5.80, $2.60 and $2.20 as the 9-5 second choice. Katdogawn, the 3-2 favorite, returned $2.40 and $2.10. Makeup Artist was $2.40 to show.