May Day Rose, showing a new dimension, took the lead in the stretch and tallied an easy victory in the $100,000 Railbird Stakes (gr. III) as 11-10 choice Pedaltothemedal finished a distant third at Hollywood Park May 21 (VIDEO).
The only graded stakes winner in the field of six 3-year-old fillies left after three scratches, May Day Rose won by 3 1/4 lengths. She completed the seven furlongs in a smart 1:22.26 over the Cushion Track.
Bob Baffert trains the winner for Kaleem Shah. Bred in Florida by Bridlewood Farm, May Day Rose is by Rockport Harbor --May Day Bluff (Pine Bluff) and sold for $220,000 as a 2-year-old at Ocala.
"She's been a good one," Shah said of his filly. "At the grade one level she didn't run her best races, but one level below that she seems to be firing. It's up to Bob (Baffert) what to do with her next. All I ask him is to tell me where and when."
A confirmed front-runner, May Day Rose was able to settle into third for Joel Rosario after a quick start in the Railbird. Advantage Player and Big Tiz showed the way through quick quarter-mile fractions of :22.46 and :45.78 as May Day Rose moved into contention leaving the turn.
The leaders were three across in upper stretch before May Day Rose took control and proved much the best while ridden by Rosario for the first time. The jockey won his fourth race on the program.
"She can do anything," Rosario said. "She can go to the lead or come from behind. Turning for home she was traveling real nice and I had her on a long hold.I hadn't even asked her to run yet. I knew I had a good chance from there. She was nice and relaxed and when I asked her to go, she drew away."
Big Tiz, ridden by Patrick Valenzuela, was a clear second by 2 1/4 lengths over Pedaltothemedal, who rallied mildly for Joe Talamo in his stakes debut for trainer Art Sherman. The Ackerman Stables' filly had registered an impressive allowance win at Hollywood April 24, handily defeating Big Tiz, who has now finished second in three consecutive races.
"She just got outrun the last part," Talamo said of the favorite. "To be honest, I think she wants to go long. And turf, too. She ran once on the turf before, but I think she can run a lot better."
May Day Rose was coming off a front-running win in the Instant Racing Stakes at Oaklawn Park April 16. She also won the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita in January and has captured three of five starts in 2011.
The bay filly's overall mark stands at 5-1-0 in nine races with earnings of $324,555.
Sent off as the second choice, May Day Rose carried top weight of 121 pounds and paid $7, $3.40, and $2.20. Big Tiz, in the money in her past seven starts for trainer Mark Glatt, returned $4 and $2.40 and completed a $20 exacta. Pedaltothemedal was $2.10 to show.
Hout Bay was fourth, followed by Advantage Player and Warren's Flyer. Alec's Moon, Orientatious and Spectacular Sky scratched.