The New York-bred 4-year-old daughter of Tiznow out of How About Now, by Pentelicus, has now won three times in five starts this year and placed in her other two starts. The bay 4-year-old was bred in New York by Stonewall Farm and is owned by Barry K. Schwartz. Her career earnings now total $284,890.
"Tactics-wise, I thought everybody might be looking around to see what everybody else was doing," said trainer Michael Hushion."I gave (jockey) Cornelio the option if he wanted to take it. Even the favorite stayed off her a little bit down the backside and stayed in a totally different path, so she had a chance to relax. The fractions were very quick, and the final time came up good. She ran the race of her life today."
This was the second Big A stakes victory in two days for trainer Mike Hushion following a win by Sunrise Smarty in the Fall Highweight Championship.
Cornelio Velasquez said his agent told him the filly, who went off at odds of 15-1, was sitting on a big race and would do well.
"She went to the lead easy," he said. "The other horse (All Due Respect) put on a lot of pressure all the way, but at the top of the stretch I had a lot of horse left."
Lovely Lil was just behind even-money favorite All Due Respect after the break but after the opening quarter-mile, run in :23.04, she eased to the lead and stayed there, opening up by 1 1/2 lengths at mid-stretch.
All Due Respect and Junior Alvarado stayed just to the outside of Lovely Lil through most of the trip, and was running dead-even with her through the turn. The half-mile was run in a solid :45.96 and 1:10.41 for six furlongs.
At the top of the stretch, the winner came off the rail and left a huge gap but no one had the drive to catch Lovely Lil. She hit the wire 1 1/4 lengths in front of All Due Respect under good handling. The final time was 1:36.90.
C C's Pal was third by three-quarters of a length. Katy Now finished fourth followed by Risky Rachel, Persuading, and Spa City Princess. Indian Legend was bumped between rivals and raced near the back of the pack. Her gait became choppy near the eighth-pole and she was soon eased and pulled up. She was vanned off the track.
Grade III winner Arena Elvira, owned by Carolyn Wilson and trained by Bill Mott, had been entered in the race but was scratched, starting instead in the Falls City Handicap (gr. II) on Thanksgiving Day at Churchill Downs. The daughter of Ghostzapper won by a neck and captured her fourth consecutive victory.
Lovely Lil paid $33.80, $9.90, and $5.90. Rick Dutrow Jr.'s All Due Respect paid $3 and $2.40, and C.C.'s Pal paid $3.90. The $2 exacta paid $101.50 and the $2 trifecta paid $601.