Odds-on favorite Lady of Shamrock burst through an opening in deep stretch to win the $150,000 Providencia Stakes (gr. IIIT) going away April 7 on the turf at Santa Anita Park, earning her first graded stakes victory (VIDEO).
Lady of Shamrock provided win number 4,999 for jockey Mike Smith. They waited patiently at the rear of the compact field before unleashing the winning move alongside Charm the Maker en route to a 2 3/4-length triumph.
She completed the 1 1/8-mile test for 3-year-old fillies in a good time of 1:46.80. Lady of Shamrock went off as the 9-10 favorite in a field reduced to five by a pair of scratches.
John Sadler trains the winning daughter of Scat Daddy for owners Kosta and Pete Hronis. Bred in Kentucky by Grovendale Sales, the dark bay/brown filly is out of the Blushing John mare Blushing Issue and sold for $11,000 as a 2-year-old-in-training last May.
Lady of Shamrock picked up her third stakes win of the meet. She captured the Blue Norther Dec. 30 and the China Doll in her most recent effort March 10. In between those two victories, she ran third behind Santa Anita Oaks (gr. I) winner Willa B Awesome in the Santa Ysabel Stakes (gr. III) on dirt, the only start of her career on any surface besides grass.
"We thought we were running the best horse," Sadler said. "She’s obviously good on this course. What we’ll try to do is have a nice campaign with her this summer and be back in the fall.”
Killer Graces, Ms Pianist, and Charm the Maker took turns on the lead through fractions of :24.77, :47.39, and 1:11.50. Charm the Maker inched away off the final turn to take a commanding 2 1/2-length lead at mid-stretch. Charm the Maker, making her turf debut for trainer Ron McAnally, couldn't hold it, however.
Lady of Shamrock, settled at the rear along the rail by Smith, progressed toward the inside and surged powerfully through the lane to tackle the leader near the sixteenth pole. She drew off under a brisk hand ride.
“This filly is really fun to ride because she has quite a turn of foot," Smith said. "She’s kind of a tall lanky filly, but she gets over the grass unbelievably.”
Great Britain-bred Byrama, benefiting from a ground-saving trip from Garrett Gomez, angled out in the stretch and finished best of the rest for second. She was a half-length in front of Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) winner Killer Graces, who was also making her turf debut with Rafael Bejarano aboard for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.
Charm the Maker was a head back in fourth with Ms Pianist the distant trailer.
Lady of Shamrock, who graduated at Churchill Downs last November in her third start, improved her career mark to 4-0-1 in seven outings with earnings of $225,400.
She carried 118 pounds and paid $3.80, $2.40, and $2.10. Second choice Byrama, who transferred to trainer Simon Callaghan from England late last year, returned $3 and $2.20 in her stakes debut. The exacta was worth $8.20. Killer Graces, the 123-pound high weight, paid $2.60.
Scratched were a pair of Irish-breds, Indigo River and Island Paradise.