Edmund Gann's heavily favored Personal Legend got trainer Bobby Frankel's year off to a good start with a win in the $100,000 Stage Door Betty Handicap at Calder Race Course Saturday.
Ridden by Jerry Bailey, the 5-year-old mare defeated Pampered Princess by three-quarters of a length in the 1 1/16-mile race. Shady Woman finished third.
Personal Legend came from off the pace set by Auntie Inda Attic with a good closing kick. She covered the distance in 1:45 flat and paid $4.40, 3 and 2.40. It was her first start at Calder after having competed in California in New York all of last year.
The victory, her sixth in 18 lifetime races, pushes her career bankroll to $467,340. Her most recent tally came in her last start, the Turnback the Alarm Handicap (gr. III) Nov. 6 at Aqueduct.
Bailey said he chose to wait for room along the inside rather than take the overland route on the far turn.
"I was calm but every time you do that, you know you could eat 'em," Bailey said. "More times than not you're going to find a seam, especially if you have enough horse and I thought I had the horse."
Personal Legend was purchased privately and placed with Frankel after her third career start. Frankel said the daughter of Awesome Again
-Highland Legend (Storm Bird) would remain in Florida to compete at Gulfstream Park this winter.
"For a time I thought she was better on turf than dirt," he said. "But now she's won two out of three (on dirt) for me and finished second in the El Encino (at Santa Anita last January) the other time."