Lotta Kim overcame a rough journey Sunday to notch her first career stakes victory, winning the $100,000 Tiffany Lass Stakes for 3-year-old fillies Sunday at Fair Grounds.Ridden by Robby Albarado, Lotta Kim settled near the back of the pack in the early stages after a poor break. Tingwithasting set uncontested fractions of 23.21, 46.78 and 1:12.38.The daughter of Roar moved up on the rail entering the far turn, however, to be in striking position. She awaited room at the top of the stretch and when a hole opened, Albarado steered Lotta Kim through. She surged home, hitting the wire in 1:38 4/5 for the mile to win by three-quarters of a length."I got squeezed out in the first turn, but she handled that very professionally," said Albarado, who was named the George Woolf Award winner earlier this week. "I was in tight throughout the whole race, but she seemed not to mind it. When I had daylight she exploded through it."Lotta Kim returned $6.80, $4 and $3 as the second choice in the wagering. Josie G.($12, $7), at 16-1, ran on gamely to take the place, more than five lengths clear of 47-1 Love Power ($18.60) in a field of 13.Trained by Hal Wiggins, Lotta Kim broke her maiden at first asking and was then second in an allowance race around two turns at Churchill Downs in November. In her last start, she was a solid second behind Be Gentle in the Golden Rod (gr. II) Nov. 29 at Churchill."Looks like she had a very rough trip, but she handled it well," said Wiggins. "Normally, 'Roar's' don't like two turns, but somehow I knew this filly would."Previously undefeated Stephan's Angel was sent off as the favorite, but finished a disappointing seventh.
"When I decided to move her out, she was struggling to hold her position," said Richard Migliore, who rode Stephan's Angel. "Maybe she didn't like the surface, but I had a real good trip."Lotta Kim improved her career earnings to $146,485 for owner/breeder Dolphus Morrison. Wiggins said he could skip the Silverbulletday Stakes (gr. II) on Feb. 14 and train up to the $300,000 Fair Grounds Oaks (gr. II) on March 6. (Chart, Equibase)