Plum Pretty Squishes Sunland Oaks Foes by 25

Plum Pretty Squishes Sunland Oaks Foes by 25
Photo: Coady Photography
Plum Pretty in the Sunland Park Oaks.

Plum Pretty, shipping from Southern California for trainer Bob Baffert, humbled five rivals by a Rachel Alexandra-like 25 lengths as the 1-20 favorite in the $200,000 Sunland Park Oaks in New Mexico March 27 (VIDEO).

With Martin Garcia aboard, Plum Pretty pressed the early pace before taking the lead on the backstretch and drawing clear at the quarter pole. The well-bred daughter of Medaglia d'Oro  --Liszy, by A.P. Indy, won in hand while completing the 1 1/16-mile test in 1:43.18 on a fast track.

Plum Pretty registered her first stakes win for John Fort's Peachtree Stable. Bred in Pennsylvania by Silent Indy Stables and DDS Stables, she cost $110,000 as a 2-year-old at the Ocala Breeders' Sale Co. last March.

In a field of six 3-year-old fillies, Icelain Diva led early in the Sunland Park Oaks while pushed along by Plum Pretty through an opening quarter-mile of :23.06. Plum Pretty took a half-length lead at the half-mile mark in :46.83 and the matter was quickly decided. Plum Pretty clicked off six furlongs in 1:11.23 and extended her advantage to 10 lengths with a furlong to run.  

Plum Pretty won her debut over maidens at Oak Tree's Hollywood Park meet on the Cushion Track in front-running style by a head. In her next start, the seven-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita Jan. 15, she finished third. She ran third again in the Las Virgenes Stakes (gr. I) Feb. 5, finishing behind the well-regarded Zazu and Turbulent Descent when she was stretched out to one mile for the first time.

Plum Pretty earned $120,000 for the Sunland Park Oaks win and returned $2.10 across the board. Paloma Mesa ($4.20, $2.80) was second with Ken Tohill aboard, 5 3/4 lengths in front of Formal Plan ($2.40) and Jorge Bourdieu. Golden Springs, Cassy Sue, and Icelain Diva completed the order.

A race later, Twelve Twenty Two, ridden by Julien Leparoux, registered a 5 1/2-length tally over favored American Story for her first stakes triumph in the $100,000 Harry Henson Handicap for fillies and mares at one mile.

It was Twelve Twenty Two's fourth consecutive win at Sunland since she was claimed from Ron Elllis for $25,000 at Hollywood last December. All her recent victories have been romps. 

Twelve Twenty Two, a 6-year-old mare by Kafwain  --Southern Solstice, by Southern Halo, is trained by Henry Dominguez, who co-owns her with J. Kirk Robison. Jeffrey T. Berk bred the winner in in Florida.

Hayley's Halo set a fast pace (:22.15, :44.98) and led the way for a half-mile before she was overtaken on the final turn by Twelve Twenty Two. The winner edged clear to lead by six lengths mid-stretch and cruised home over American Story in 1:36.49.

The Baffert-trained American Story closed willingly for Garcia to finish four lengths clear of Hayley's Halo and Alejandro Medellin, but  was no match for the winner. Miss Heather Lee, Twist, Camille C, and Queen Greeley followed.

Twelve Twenty Two earned $60,000 for her fifth win in 10 lifetime starts and boosted her career total to $165,100.

She carried 116 pounds and paid $7.80, $3.20, and $2.20 as the third choice. American Story returned $3.20 and $2.60 and completed a $23 exacta. Hayley's Halo was $2.10 to show.

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