Third when beaten by 11 1/4 lengths in the Aug. 29 Personal Ensign (gr. I) at Saratoga, Life At Ten took over from favored Unrivaled Belle turning for home in the nine-furlong Beldame and was never challenged while winning by two lengths. John Velazquez guided the 5-year-old mare to victory in a final time of 1:49.29 over the fast main track.
Todd Pletcher trains Life At Ten for Candy DeBartolo. The daughter of Malibu Moon earned her second grade I win, her other also coming at Belmont in the Ogden Phipps Handicap in June. The loss in the 10-furlong Personal Ensign snapped a six-race win streak for the chestnut mare, who has five stakes victories this season.
Life At Ten received a perfect stalking trip under Velazquez, sitting just off the lead set by Queen Martha, who clicked off fractions of :23.68, :47.80, and 1:12.39, and Unrivaled Belle, who pressed the pace with Kent Desormeaux aboard.
Life At Ten made her winning three-wide move around the final turn. She was even with Unrivaled Belle at the quarter pole, but when they straightened away she claimed the lead and never looked back. Unrivaled Belle was a clear second, 6 3/4 lengths in front of Persistently and Alan Garcia.
"She broke well and got us in a good position," Velazquez said. "When those two horses (Queen Martha and Unrivaled Belle) went, she settled really well behind those two. When we passed the half-mile pole I put her in the clear and let her get to that cruising speed that she has. She started going at a good, comfortable speed and she was going well, and I was just hoping that when I asked her, she’d respond and she responded all the way.”
In addition to the Beldame and Ogden Phipps, Life At Ten’s 2010 wins have come in the Rare Treat Stakes at Aqueduct, Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) at Hawthorne Race Course, and Delaware Handicap (gr. II). Overall, she improved to 8-5-2 from 16 starts and raised her earnings to $1,149,267.
Life At Ten was bred in Kentucky by Nickelback Farm and she is out of the Rahy mare Rahrahsixboombah.
"She ran okay at Saratoga a couple of times, but I don’t think that is her favorite surface," Pletcher said. "We made a tactical decision in her last race and it kind of backfired. So this time we had a better plan in letting her fall into a rhythm and hoped that the other two fillies would show some initiative and it worked out well. Hopefully we will be heading to Louisville (for the Nov. 5 Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, gr. I) if everything goes well.”
Sent off as the second choice, Life At Ten paid $4.90, $2.90, and $2.10. The exacta (1-4) returned $10 and the trifecta (1-4-6) was worth $14.
Queen Martha was fourth, followed by Miss Match. Bonnie Blue Flag was scratched.