Calder Casino and Race Course saved the best finish for the last of their three-stakes, post-Christmas “Grand Slam” program as Buongiorno A Tutti’s Sweet Repent pipped Amazing by a nose in the 1 1/16-mile Stage Door Betty Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO). The 3-year-old filly carried co-high-weight of 117 pounds as the even-money favorite.
It was 3 1/2 lengths back to Aurora Lights in third in the $100,000 Stage Door Betty. Sweet Revenge covered the distance in 1:46.91.
Amazing set all the pace and had modest early fractions of :24.35, :49.93, and 1:14.97. Sweet Repent was content to stalk the pace under Manoel Cruz, eased out in stretch and went after Amazing in the lane. After a mile in 1:40.11, the two hit the line together. The final sixteenth was run in :06.80.
Trained by David Braddy, Sweet Repent has won six of 12 lifetime starts, including the Judy’s Red Shoes Stakes and Elmer Heubeck Distaff Handicap, both at Calder this year. She has earned $299,190.
“I definitely wasn’t sure she could get there with the way that horse (Amazing) was going so well on the lead, but she did,” Braddy said. “This was definitely the best field of horses she’s beaten so far and winning a graded stakes certainly takes her to another level. The plan now is to run her in the Sunshine Millions (Distaff at Gulfstream Park) and then give her a little break.”
Sweet Repent, a daughter of Repent, out of the Formal Dinner mare Sweetbabe, paid $4.40, $2.80, and $2.60. Amazing returned $13.40 and $8.20. Aurora Lights paid $6.60 to show. The 2-12 exacta paid $80.
The winner was bred in Florida by Nikki and Roger Schick. As a weanling, Sweet Repent was an out as part of the Abbie Road Farm, agent, consignment at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s October mixed sale in 2006.
Aurora Lights was followed by Morena, the 7-2 second choice, Miss Singhsix, Lomaki, Sweetsouthernqueen, Even Road, Cat Can Do, Kiddari, Nicksappealinglady and Flying Dixie. Scratched were Hopeful Image and Jessica is Back.