Mercedes Stable homebred Lady Ten had her consistency rewarded Oct. 27 when she inched away from the pack late in the $100,000 Autumn Miss Stakes (gr. IIIT) and held on to win at Santa Anita Park by a neck (VIDEO) .
Rafael Bejarano guided 2-1 favorite Lady Ten to her first graded victory for trainer Bob Baffert. She completed the one-mile test for 3-year-old fillies in 1:34.95 over firm turf on a hot afternoon at Santa Anita.
Customer Base, charging from near the rear of the 10-horse field through the stretch, ran out of time with Garrett Gomez in the irons and finished second, 1 1/4 lengths in front of an unlucky Charm the Maker, ridden by Brice Blanc.
The Autumn Miss was renamed this year by Santa Anita. It was previously known as the Harold C. Ramser Stakes when it was part of the Oak Tree Racing Association's annual autumn meet at Santa Anita.
Lady Ten registered her first stakes victory in the Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar Aug. 17 and was coming off a runner-up finish in the restricted Swingtime Stakes on the Santa Anita turf Oct. 6.
The bay daughter of Rock Hard Ten is out of the winning mare Mismonique, by French Deputy. She was bred in Kentucky
Unraced at 2, Lady Ten has not been worse than third in her 11 starts this year while winning four times.
Prominent from the start, Lady Ten pressed pacesetter Viva Carina in second as the Argentina-bred filly showed the way through an opening quarter mile in :23.19 and four furlongs in :47.55. Lady Ten took the advantage after they reached the quarter pole in 1:11.55 and creeped away in the stretch to lead by a half-length at the eighth pole.
Lady Ten increased her edge slightly while approaching the wire before 9-1 Customer Base came with a big late run on the outside. Lady Ten, though, prevailed under urging from Bejarano.
Bejarano said Lady Ten caused him a bit of concern early.
"She broke good from the gate but I knew there would be a lot of speed so I tried to make sure to give her help from the gate so she could find a position in the race," he said.
"When I got my position at the first turn I just tried to hold her a little bit then let her run when we hit the top of the stretch. She was easy to ride and I think you can do anything you want with this filly. I was waiting for Garrett's (Gomez) horse late because I knew his filly would be the only one running at the end."
"I just couldn't get to the winner in time," Gomez said. "If I would have had just a little bit more distance between me and the wire I think I could have got her in another couple jumps."
Charm the Maker, who was mounting a bid while between horses in the stretch, found traffic problems and had to settle for third.
Under 117 pounds, Lady Ten extended her earnings to $246,244 and paid $6.80, $4.20, and $2.80. Glen Hill Farm's Customer Base, fifth behind the winner in the Sandy Blue in her most recent start, returned $8.60 and $4.80. The exacta was worth $66. Charm the Maker paid $4 to show.
Viva Carina was fourth, followed by Open Water, Perfecta, Vionnet, Best Present Ever, Jolly Days, and Double Ante. Curvy Cat scratched.