Multiple grade I winner Ticker Tape ended a nine-race losing streak Thursday as the 5-year-old mare edged slightly favored Movie Star in a tense stretch duel in Santa Anita's $81,350 Tuzla Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.
In recording her first victory since taking the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland in Oct. 2004, the millionaire Ticker Tape defeated trainer Bobby Frankel's Brazilian-import by one-half length while running the distance in 1:34.82.
Ticker Tape, with regular rider Kent Desormeaux aboard, paid $4.40, $2.40, and $2.10 in the field of six. Even-money choice Movie Star, ridden by Garrett Gomez, returned $2.40 and $2.10. Cyber Slew, who finished 2 ¼ lengths behind the runner-up, paid $3.60 to show.
"This mare just lays her body down," Desormeaux said of the winner. "She's so genuine. She just does everything herself."
Both Ticker Tape and Movie Star launched their bids turning for home with the British-bred winner, on the outside, inching clear in the closing strides.
The victory was worth $47,190 to the Forging Oaks Farm mare trained by James Cassidy. The purse increased her career earnings to $1,323,396 from an overall record of 8-8-5 in 27 starts.
"We brought her back quick from her last start (Jan. 8)," said Cassidy, "but I think this is what she needs to help her stay focused. She's got the ability. We just have to keep her happy."
Cassidy said he likely would race Ticker Tape next in the Buena Vista Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Feb. 20.