She's a Tiger came as advertised in the $150,000 Landaluce Stakes, speeding to a sharp victory as the 3-5 choice July 13 over six rival juvenile fillies at Betfair Hollywood Park (VIDEO).
Two races later, pacesetter Alpine Luck, ridden by Hall of Famer Gary Stevens, notched his first stakes win in the $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship by half a length over Ontology.
Now two-for-two in her career after debuting with a nine-length maiden tally at the Alameda County Fair in Pleasanton June 22, She's a Tiger is a half sister to recently retired three-time grade I winner Smiling Tiger .
Jeff Bonde, who trained Smiling Tiger, also conditions his speedy sister for owners Mark Dedomenico, Allen Aldrich, Lisa Hernandez, and Stuart Downey.
"My filly got tired, but she still ran well," said Bonde, noting the fast early tempo. "I think she's a really good horse, I really do."
She's a Tiger, who paid $3.20 to win, led at every call under Frank Alvarado to defeat outsider E Equalsmcsquared by three-quarters of a length in a time of 1:12.04 for six furlongs on Cushion Track.
Forced to duel for the early lead with South Sound through a swift opening quarter mile of :21.91, She's a Tiger began to sneak away from her pace rival leaving the quarter pole after a half mile in :45.55 and opened a two-length advantage in the stretch. The bay filly remained in control while under a firm hand ride from Alvarado as E Equalsmcsquared came on well in the stretch for Mike Smith. Pleasant Miss, runner-up in the Cinderella Stakes June 15, was a length back in third with Rafael Bejarano aboard.
"I was being patient with her," Alvarado said of the winner. "By the three-eighths I could feel the pressure on the inside and I felt somebody coming on the outside, but I wasn't worried. I knew what I had."
Bred in Kentucky by Dr. Rodney Orr, She's a Tiger is by Tale of the Cat out of the stakes-winning Cahill Road mare Shandra Smiles. She is the second stakes winner for her dam, joining Smiling Tiger, who was recently retired to Premier Equine Center near Oakdale, Calif. The son of Hold That Tiger won seven graded stakes and nearly $1.5 million.
She's a Tiger was a $150,000 purchase by Mersad Metanovic Bloodstock at the 2012 Keeneland September sale from the Warrendale Sales consignment. She earned $90,000 for the Landaluce victory, extending her earnings to $105,650.
In the Hollywood Juvenile Championship, Alpine Luck led all the way through fractions of :23.05 and :46.67, holding off the willing closer Ontology by half a length in a time of 1:11.44 for six furlongs on Cushion Track (VIDEO). The winner paid $11.60 as the fourth choice in a field of seven.
"I wasn't concerned being on the lead with him,'' said Stevens, who won the Hollywood Juvenile Championship for the fifth time. "Last time (Harrington) told me to ride him like a route horse, but he got a flyer leaving there and was on the lead."
Ontology, stalking in third into the stretch for Rafael Bejarano, made a strong rail bid in the final furlong as Alpine Luck held gamely under urging from Stevens. Willie B Awesome was a nose farther back in third under Martin Pedroza, with the late-arriving Solid Wager a head behind the show horse in a tight finish. Favored Knock Em Flat had a poor start and finished last.
Alpine Luck, a homebred son of Lucky J. H. out of the Swiss Yodeler mare I Can Yodele owned by Heinz Steinmann, is trained by Mike Harrington. The bay colt is the first stakes winner for his sire, who stands at Harris Farms for $1,500.
The bay colt has won two in a row, breaking his maiden smartly at Hollywood June 22 following two third-place finishes to begin his career earlier this spring. All four of his races have come over Hollywood's synthetic track.
"I keep kidding (Stevens) because I tell him to ride him like a route horse and he keeps going to the front,'' said Harrington. "I told him, 'You never listen.'"
Sire Swiss Yodeler won the Hollywood Juvenile Championship in 1996. The race lost its grade III status this year.
The winner has now banked $146,784.