Life At Ten, making her graded stakes debut for trainer Todd Pletcher, outfought pacesetter Jessica Is Back in the stretch drive to win the $200,000 Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) at Hawthorne Racecourse April 17.
The consistent 5-year-old daughter of Malibu Moon earned her fourth consecutive win as the second choice in the 1 1/8-mile Sixty Sails, edging away in the final strides to win by one length over the 17-10 favorite Jessica Is Back. The final time was 1:51.02 over a fast track
An expected pace duel never materialized. That was just fine with jockey Michael Baze, who, after breaking from the widest post in the field of eight, settled Life At Ten into second on the outside, just behind Jessica Is Back through soft quarter-mile fractions of :24.41, :49.06 and 1:13.72.
Life At Ten drew even with Jessica Is Back, ridden on the inside by Elvis Trujillo, at the top of the stretch and the two mares separated from the rest of the field while battling through the lane. Jessica Is Back, under left-handed urging in the final sixteenth, tried desperately to stay with Life At Ten. But the winner edged away under a vigorous hand ride from Baze, a newcomer on the Illinois circuit from Southern California.
The late-running Miss Singhsix closed well to finish third as the 118-pound top weight, giving trainer Marty Wolfson the second and third-place finishers.
But the top prize, worth $120,000, went to owner Cynthia DeBartolo and the sizzling Pletcher, whose high-profile stable enjoyed an outstanding day nationally.
Life At Ten was coming off back-to-back victories in overnight stakes on the inner track at Aqueduct, most recently capturing the Rare Treat by 5 1/4 lengths on Feb. 20.
She improved her earnings to $309,267 off a career mark of 5-5-1 in 12 starts. Her only out-of-the-money performance came in her only start on turf, a 1 1/8-mile allowance turf race over a yielding Belmont Park course last September. The chestnut mare began her career on synthetic tracks but has become one tough customer since switching to dirt (three wins and two seconds in five races).
Nickelback Farm bred the winner, who is out the Rahy mare Rahrahsixboombah, in Kentucky.
Life At Ten carried 115 pounds and paid $7.60, $3.60 and $3.20, topping a $21.60 exacta. Jessica Is Back, who was coming off a nine-length romp in the Ocala Stakes at Gulfstream Park last month, returned $3.40 and $2.60. Miss Singhsix, who circled the field to get third, was 3 1/4 lengths behind her stablemate and paid $3.40 to show.
Starship Angel finished fourth, followed by Peach Brew, Never Retreat, Afleet Deceit and Fighter Wing, who stumbled badly at the start.