Souvenir Gift Remains Undefeated With Landaluce Upset

Edited from Hollywood Park reports
Souvenir Gift rallied in the stretch under Mike Smith to remain undefeated with a 1 1/4-length triumph in the $106,800 Landaluce Stakes (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.

The 2-year-old daughter of Souvenir Copy overcame adversity while stretching her winning streak to three in the Landaluce. Stopped along the rail nearing the far turn, she rallied along the inside in the stretch when the race appeared to be between 2-5 favorite My Miss Storm Cat and pacesetter Bella Banissa.

Souvenir Gift made up three lengths from the top of the stretch to capture the six-furlong race in 1:09.75. Bella Banissa, ridden by Corey Nakatani, held on for second, a nose in front of My Miss Storm Cat and jockey David Flores.

"Down the backside the leaders were staying out, and I was down inside of them," Smith said. "So I just kind of crept up there a little bit to force their hand. Down the lane, they floated way off the fence, so I just cruised right on through there. Those were some talented fillies in front of her, too, and she acted like she would go on. I think she's the real deal. . . well, I sure hope so. And she acts like she is four years old."

Souvenir Gift, purchased for $25,000 by trainer Sam Semkin and partner Greg Unruh from the Barretts October yearling sale, banked $64,080 Monday to increase her earnings to $131,760.

"She had the right disposition and was very athletic, and has that little fight, that little nastiness you need when you get down here around the finish line," Semkin said.

The second-choice in the field of 11 fillies, Souvenir Gift paid $10.20, $4.60 and $2.10. Bella Banissa returned $8 and $2.10, while the show payoff on My Miss Storm was $2.10.

(Chart, Equibase)