Gender Agenda turned the tables on grade I winner Stormy Lucy to earn the first stakes win of her career in the Robert J. Frankel Stakes (gr. IIIT) Dec. 27 at Santa Anita Park.
The 4-year-old daughter of Holy Roman Emperor broke on top with jockey Rafael Bejarano in the 1 1/8-mile turf event, but settled into second and stalked the pace of favored Glory before inching past the front-runner in the stretch to win, holding off fast-closing Stormy Lucy by a neck.
Glory finished a game third—after setting fractions of :24.16, :49.17, and 1:14.35 through six furlongs with a 1 1/2-length lead—only a nose back.
"I was afraid we were going to be too close to the lead, but when I saw the slow pace I knew we were OK," Bejarano said. "Out of the gate, I let the favorite (Glory) go and tried to force her to the lead. I just put us second and followed them. After that, it wasn't going to be my fault, because I knew we were getting a perfect trip in that spot."
Last time out, Gender Agenda finished fifth behind Stormy Lucy in the Matriarch Stakes (gr. IT) Nov. 29 at Del Mar, where the Stormy Atlantic mare stunned the field at odds of 65-1, but this time the closer ran out of real estate.
“I got out too late," said Stormy Lucy's jockey, Kent Desormeaux. "She was the best today."
Trained by Carla Gaines, Gender Agenda went off at 10-1 and hit the wire in 1:50.29 on turf rated good. The winner paid $23.80, $10.40, and $6.80 across the board. Stormy Lucy brought $5.80 and $4.20, while Glory delivered $3.80.
"She's a very good miler and we decided to attempt to get her to stretch out that extra eighth, and it worked," Gaines said.
Last-out Red Carpet Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Rusty Slipper came in fourth, followed by Three Hearts, Alexis Tangier, Fresh Feline, Warren's Veneda, Peace and War, Gas Total, Star Act, and Honey Ride, to complete the order of finish.
Bred in Great Britain by Middle Park Stud, out of the Zafonic mare Friendlier, Gender Agenda has a 5-3-3 record from 18 starts with $287,108 in earnings for owners Keith Brackpool, Alon Ossip, and Timothy Ritvo.