Hernandez Racing Club's Illinois-bred La Tia couldn't break her maiden on dirt, but she remained perfect on Polytrack and in her 2012 season when cruising to victory over six rivals in the $150,000 Arlington Oaks (gr. III) July 21 at Arlington Park (VIDEO) .
The 3-year-old daughter of City Place was first at the break and first at the wire after leading a field of seven distaffers through 1 1/8 miles to earn her third straight win at the Chicagoland oval for trainer Brian Williamson.
Constantio Roman kept the 124-pound highweight relaxed through a leisurely pace of :24.81 and :49.37 while Mariah's Storm Stakes victress Lady Candidate tracked along in second and Annie Russell sat in third. Treasured Up, the 7-5 favorite, was last in the early going.
La Tia went three-quarters in 1:14.07 and the mile in 1:38.43, then held off a strong late rally from Canadian invader Sky Dreamer to preserve a three-quarter length victory in 1:51.46. It was a first graded stakes victory for Roman.
"She got out on the lead and ran great," said Williamson. "Constantino rode her great. She was two for two on the Polytrack (here) and won both races easily, so I thought we'd keep her on the Poly and give her a shot."
After finishing no better than third in three starts on dirt as a 2-year-old, La Tia was given the winter and spring off. She broke her maiden by nine lengths in her first start as a 3-year-old May 25 and the came back three weeks later to win the $113,125 Purple Violet Stakes against Illinois-breds by nearly the same margin on June 16.
Bred by Salvador Hernandez out of the Sky Classic mare La Adelita, the filly now sports a record of three wins and a third from six starts. With the winner's share of $88,200 she nearly doubled her earnings to $182,640.
La Tia returned $9.60, $4.20, and $3.80. Sky Dreamer paid $5.20 and $3.60. Ire, five lengths farther back in third, brought $4.80. Lady Candidate, Ann of the Dance, Treasured Up, and Annie Russell completed the order of finish.
"I had a good trip, but my filly never fired," said Miguel Mena of his race aboard the beaten favorite. "Earlier in the race, she was never really on the bit."