Lethal Heat Still Perfect After 'Paula

Lethal Heat Still Perfect After 'Paula
Photo: Benoit
Lethal Heat made it three stakes wins in a row in the Santa Paula (gr. IIIT) March 30 at Santa Anita.
Undefeated Lethal Heat won her third straight race in the space of a month and became a grade III winner when she burned past the pacesetters mid-stretch en route to a 1 3/4-length victory in the $108,500 Santa Paula Stakes (VIDEO) on the Santa Anita synthetic track March 30.

Gerry Olguin, who has ridden Lethal Heat in all three of her starts, guided the lightly raced filly to victory at odds of 7-1  in the 6 1/2-furlong test for 3-year-old fillies. It was Lethal Heat's first try on a synthetic track.

Barry Abrams, who partly owns the California-bred daughter of Unusual Heat with Madeline Auerbach, also is the conditioner. The bay filly began her career with back-to-back wins on the hillside turf course at about 6 1/1 furlongs.

“She’s just a very good horse," Abrams said. "She can do anything. The farther they go, the better.”

Carrying 118 pounds, Lethal Heat chased the early leaders as Peisinoe, prompted by Dawn Before Dawn, set solid fractions of :21.85 and :44.61. Lethal Heat loomed into contention on the turn and rallied into the stretch while four paths wide. She caught the leaders at the eighth pole and gradually pulled away under urging to win in a time of 1:14.91.

“She’s getting better and better every time she runs," said Olguin, who is scheduled to return to his Woodbine base in Canada after riding at Santa Anita March 31. " When I pushed the button she went. I knew when I kissed to her she was going to kick on and she did. I hope I can come back (from Toronto) and ride her next time she runs.”

P. S. U. Grad, ridden by Michael Baze, closed best of the rest to finish second by a half-length, with 25-1 shot Highland Torree, Corey Nakatani aboard, defeating Peisinoe for third by one length.

Lovely Isle, the 7-5 favorite, finished fifth, followed by Dawn Before Dawn and Sweet August Moon. Lovely Isle weakened in the lane after making an inside move for jockey Tyler Baze.

Lethal Heat began her career on March 1 with a come-from-behind nose victory in a maiden special weight event on the grass. She raced again just 10 days ago, winning again in closing style by 1 3/4 lengths over a first-level allowance field on the same downhill course. The Santa Paula winning purse of $65,100 increased Lethal Heat's earnings to $146,220.

Tom Roberts is a co-breeder of Lethal Heat along with David Abrams and Auerbach.

Sent off as the second-longest choice in the field of seven, Lethal Heat paid $16, $6 and $4 while topping a $2 exacta worth $107.40 with P. S. U. Grad, who returned $6.40 and $4.80. Highland Torree was $6.80 to show.

Crown of Diamonds scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)

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