The grade I winner Dancing Edie, used to racing longer distances and coming off a second-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile John C. Mabee Handicap (gr.IT) at Del Mar Aug. 4, went off at odds of 5-1 in the field of 11 fillies and mares.
"I missed some time with her after the Mabee and I was a little concerned about her fitness, so I decided to shorten her up here and use this as a prep for something longer, and obviously it worked out," said winning trainer Craig Dollase.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Dancing Edie saved ground for most of the journey while tracking the early leaders. She sat back as the field crossed over the dirt portion of the course and came on as they turned for home. It got a little tight for several strides as the 5-year-old California-bred Moscow Ballet mare edged her way inside the floating pacesetter Itsawonderfullife. Once clear of that one, she hooked up with the outsider Lady Gamer for the final furlong, inching away late. The fast-closing Strong Faith was a neck behind in third. The final time was 1:13 1/5 on firm going.
Favored Attima (17-10), the multiple grade II winner making her first start in more than seven months for trainer Julio Canani, made a move while extremely wide on the turn but flattened out in the stretch. She was later discovered to have bled through the nostrils.
Fantastic Spring outran Itsawonderfullife for the early lead, completing the first quarter-mile in :22 1/5, and the duo fought with Super Freaky for the advantage as the field reached the dirt after a half in :44. Dancing Edie was racing mid-pack but made good ground approaching the turn.
"I just let her be comfortable," Nakatani said. "I figured that when the running started, she'd be there.
"It got a little tight there for about four strides," he said of the winning move, "but she got through there fine."
Dancing Edie, who carried high weight of 122, won for the first time since the 2006 Mabee for owners J. Paul Reddam, Julian Basin and Fast Lane Farms. The bay had lost five in a row since that victory. Overall, the win was her fourth in 20 starts, which includes seven seconds and two thirds. She earned $68,940 for the Maddy, improving her bankroll to $782,535.
Dancing Edie ran eighth in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) last year at Churchill Downs.
"She’s run against the best and she’s run farther than we expected she would against top fillies," Nakatani noted.
Dollase said Dancing Edie would be pointed to Woodbine for the $1-million E.P. Taylor (Can-I) at 1 1/4 miles on the turf Oct. 21, or stay home for the $150,000 Las Palmas (gr. IIT) at one mile on the turf Nov. 4.
Sent off as the second choice, she paid $12, $5.60 and $4.60, topping a $235.60 exacta with Lady Gamer ($23, $10.80), ridden by David Flores for trainer John Sadler. Strong Faith, coming off back-to-back seconds in graded company, was $4.40 to show with Brice Blanc aboard.
Macadamia finished fourth, a nose behind Strong Faith. Then came Clinet, Sophie's Trophy, Runway Rosie, Itsawonderfullife, Super Freaky, Attima and Fantastic Spring. Spenditallbaby, Stylish Wildcat and True and True scratched.