Tyler Baze rides Sharp Lisa to victory in the Santa Ynez Stakes.

Tyler Baze rides Sharp Lisa to victory in the Santa Ynez Stakes.


'Lisa' is Sharp in Santa Ynez Victory

Sharp Lisa, the 9-10 favorite, wore down No Bull Baby in the stretch run and scored a 1 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-old fillies on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day card at Santa Anita Park.

Ridden by Tyler Baze and carrying 114 pounds, Sharp Lisa ran seven furlongs in 1:23.10 on a fast main track and paid $3.80, $2.60, and $2.20. No Bull Baby, with Rene Douglas aboard at 121 pounds, was clearly second best and returned $5 and $3.60. Hot Attraction nosed out Mother for third and paid $3.20.

Far back early, Sharp Lisa rallied three-wide into the stretch, collared early leader Mother in mid-stretch, and then overtook No Bull Baby in the final sixteenth of a mile.

"Incredible filly," Baze said. "I can't believe the stride she has on her. She's like a quarter horse in the stretch. For such a little filly, she just dropped and took off."

Doug O'Neill trains the winner for Californians J. Paul Reddam, Pablo Suarez, and Mark Schlessinger. Sharp Lisa is 2-2-0 from five starts and the $90,000 winner's check pushed her earnings to $261,600.

A daughter of Dixieland Band-Winter's Gone (by Dynaformer) bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, Sharp Lisa was sold for $50,000 at the 2003 Keeneland September yearling sale. The filly began her career in Florida at Calder Race Course, breaking her maiden by 6 1/2 lengths, before finishing second in the Darley Alcibiades (gr. II) at Keeneland. Sixth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), Sharp Lisa finished second in the grade I Hollywood Starlet last month, followed by Monday's victory in the Santa Ynez.

"She's amazing," O'Neill said. "I think every trainer's dream is to have a horse like this. This game's all about dreaming so we'll see how she comes out of it and go from there."

O'Neill said Sharp Lisa could be pointed to the $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes, a grade I at a mile Feb. 12 that will include probably champion Sweet Catomine.

(Chart, Equibase)