Sharp Lisa, the 9-10 favorite, wore down No Bull Baby in the stretch run and scored a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day card at Santa Anita Park.
Ridden by Tyler Baze and carrying 114 pounds, Sharp Lisa ran seven furlongs in 1:23.10 on a fast main track and paid $3.80, $2.60, and $2.20. No Bull Baby, with Rene Douglas aboard at 121 pounds, was clearly second best and returned $5 and $3.60. Hot Attraction nosed out Mother for third and paid $3.20.
Far back early, Sharp Lisa rallied three-wide into the stretch, collared early leader Mother in mid-stretch, and then overtook No Bull Baby in the final sixteenth of a mile.
"Incredible filly," Baze said. "I can't believe the stride she has on her. She's like a quarter horse in the stretch. For such a little filly, she just dropped and took off."
Doug O'Neill trains the winner for Californians J. Paul Reddam, Pablo Suarez, and Mark Schlessinger. Sharp Lisa is 2-2-0 from five starts and the $90,000 winner's check pushed her earnings to $261,600.
A daughter of Dixieland Band
-Winter's Gone (by Dynaformer
) bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Sharp Lisa was sold for $50,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. The filly began her career in Florida at Calder Race Course, breaking her maiden by 6 1/2 lengths, before finishing second in the Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland. Sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Sharp Lisa finished second in the grade I Hollywood Starlet last month, followed by Monday's victory in the Santa Ynez.
"She's amazing," O'Neill said. "I think every trainer's dream is to have a horse like this. This game's all about dreaming so we'll see how she comes out of it and go from there."
O'Neill said Sharp Lisa could be pointed to the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes, a grade I at a mile Feb. 12 that will include probably champion Sweet Catomine.