Blocked or hampered between horses in the final three-sixteenths of the $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes (gr. IIT) March 26 at Santa Anita Park, Valor Ladies' Tuttipaesi persevered for her first graded win.
The lone East Coast shipper in the field of five, the 6-year-old, Bill Mott-trained daughter of Clodovil found just enough under jockey Chris DeCarlo between horses in the final sixteenth to win by a neck over Glory. Fresh Feline, the longest shot in the field at 18-1, was three-quarters of a length back in third.
Heavily favored Her Emmynency set the pace—after nearly going into the rail when she broke in leaving the gate in the 1 1/8-mile turf test—and clicked off fractions of :24.50, :48.51, and 1:12.14 through six furlongs, but tired exiting the final turn and finished last.
Glory took over in the lane, and Fresh Feline came up to challenge before Tuttipaesi split the top pair late to hit the wire in 1:48.82. The Santa Ana was DeCarlo's first ride at Santa Anita.
"Every time she's run for me, she's run really well," said DeCarlo, who piloted the mare to a third-place finish last time out in the Marshua's River (gr. IIIT) Jan. 9 at Gulfstream Park. "At the top of the lane, it was tight. I didn't have anywhere to go, but there was a little separation at the eighth pol and once she got her head in there, she was able to muscle her way through.
"She's a tough filly. She's a fighter. She's the kind you want. She won't back away from any challenge."
The winner paid $7.40, $3.60, and $2.80 across the board as the 5-2 second choice. Glory brought $3.60 and $3, and Fresh Feline delivered $4 to show.
Bred in Ireland, out of the Acatenango mare Ruby Ridge, Tuttipaesi has a 7-2-3 record from 17 starts and $495,929 in earnings.