(Edited Hollywood Park news release)
Favorite Mrs Kipling, allowed to relax much of the way under a confident David Flores, rallied from seventh at the top of the stretch en route May 3 to an easy 2 1/2-length victory over longshot Candilejas in $100,000 Senorita Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.
Mrs Kipling, owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay and trained by Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale, established herself as a leading contender for the $750,000 American Oaks Invitational (gr. IT) in July as she covered one mile in 1:34.52 on the Lakeside Turf Course.
“At the three-eighths I chirped to her once and she was really relaxed,” said Flores, who rode two winners Sunday. “By the time we hit the stretch she changed leads and she was gone."
The Irish-bred filly, second behind Acting Lady while making her U.S. debut in the Providencia Stakes (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita in early April, paid $6, $3.80 and $3 while winning for the third time in seven starts.
Candilejas, a 37-1 shot with Martin Garcia up, paid $28.60 and $12.80. Pride Dancer, ridden by Joe Talamo, finished another half-length back in third and paid $4.60. Acting Lady, the second choice at 5-2 in the field of nine 3-year-old fillies, finished fourth.
“She had a lovely trip and a lovely ride,” Drysdale said. “It was a mile today and she relaxed very well. I know there was a strong pace in front of her, but she switched off to wherever he (Flores) wanted her.
“I don’t see any problem with her going nine (furlongs), and if she goes nine, well then we will go ten,” he added in reference to the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap (1 1/8 miles) on May 31 and the $750,000 American Oaks (1 ¼ miles) on July 5. “We’ll just go one step at a time.”
Mrs Kipling banked $60,000 with the victory, boosting her earnings to $136,961.
Bred in Ireland by J. Osborne, the 3-year-old filly is by Exceed And Excel, and is out of the Carnegie mare Quinzey.