Green Hills Farm Inc.'s Love and Pride added a first graded victory to her resume on Saturday with a 1 3/4-length wire job in the Grade 3, $150,000 Obeah Handicap at Delaware Park. The four-year-old daughter of A.P. Indy used her rail post to good advantage, grabbing command out of the gate and setting splits of :23 2/5, :47 3/5, 1:11 3/5 and 1:37 1/5 before finishing 1 1/8 miles on the fast dirt in 1:49 4/5.
Jockey Jeremy Rose guided the Todd Pletcher trainee around the track and had enough mount left to withstand 4-5 favorite Tiz Miz Sue's rally in the lane. That one bided her time on the backstretch, stalking the pace while wide, before scooting between Love and Pride and Suroof to challenge rounding the turn. The five-year-old mare put in a game effort but just couldn't catch the winner and was forced to settle for second in the Obeah for a second straight year.
The pair could find themselves in a rematch if their connections opt to enter them both in the Grade 2, $750,000 Delaware Handicap on July 21. The top four finishes from the Obeah, the local prep for the 1 1/4-mile Del 'Cap, earn a free nomination to that race.
Love and Pride paid $4.20, $2.20 and $2.10 as the even-money second choice in the field of five. Check Point was another nine lengths behind Tiz Miz Sue on the wire to take third, while Suroof and She Be Classy completed the order of finish after Pachattack was withdrawn in favor of the Grade 3 All Along Stakes at Colonial Downs later on the day.
Love and Pride opened her career at Delaware, taking her maiden debut by three parts of a length, and two races later recorded an 8 1/4-length victory against optional claiming company. She made her first foray outside the confines of Delaware when shipped to New York for Saratoga's Proud Spell Stakes and triumphed on that day by 6 3/4 lengths.
The dark bay lass wouldn't visit the winner's circle again until making her four-year-old bow on January 28, capturing the Affectionately Stakes at Aqueduct by seven lengths. She was second next out in the Grade 2 Top Flight Handicap and just missed by a head in the Grade 3 Allaire duPont Distaff most recently. The Obeah improved Love and Pride's record to 13-5-2-4, including a third in last year's Grade 1 Gazelle Stakes, and she has now banked $370,760 in lifetime earnings.
Bred in Kentucky by Stud TNT, Love and Pride was a $380,000 Keeneland April two-year-old in training RNA. She is out of the Grade 1-placed Storm Cat mare Ile de France, making her a three-quarter sibling to classic-winning champion and top sire Bernardini. That stallion and Ile de France are both out of Broodmare of the Year and Grade 1 victress Cara Rafaela, who also produced the dam of multiple Grade 3 scorer Thiskyhasnolimit. Cara Rafaela is herself a half-sister to dual Grade 3 hero and sire Abaginone.
Love and Pride's fourth dam is the Grade 3-winning Northern Dancer mare Northern Fable.