RGM Stables' Sweet Little Lion held on in the stretch among a wall of contenders to win the $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat Stakes by a neck in the Summit of Speed July 6 at Calder Casino & Race Course (VIDEO).
"The race turned out like I thought it would," said winning jockey Jesus Rios.
The 5-year-old daughter of Red Bullet showed her true colors on the turf after a disappointing off-the-turf performance in the Marizy Doates at Calder. She completed 7 1/2 furlongs on the turf labled good in 1:30.26.
"She really likes this course," said winning training Gregory Griffith. "Last time we made a mistake and ran her on the dirt; I should have never done that. Coming up to the race she had been training very nice. We expected a big race from her."
After pressing a pace set by Saint Aggie for a quarter in :24.88 and a half in :48.92, Sweet Little Lion made her move to battle down the stretch with the leader and late-closing Miss Montreal as a wave of horses gained on them.
"I decided to wait as much as I could until the quarter pole to send my mare to run," Rios said.
When asked, Sweet Little Lion went all out to the wire to boost her record to 4-2-4 from 15 starts, with earnings of $135,230.
Sweet Little Lion returned $34.00, $13.20, and $11.00 while Miss Montreal paid $7.80 and $5.40 and Angelica Zapata brought back $4.80 in third. Completing the order of finish were Ann of the Dance, Awesome Belle, Celestial Kitten, Saint Aggie, Lexington Pearl, Frolic's Revenge, and Callmethesqueeze. Canadian Mistress and Centrique, both entered for the main track only, scratched.
Sweet Little Lion was bred in Florida by Kinsman Farm out of the Rahy mare Perfect Catch. The Hollywood Wildcat was her first stakes score.