Saturday, February 12, 2011 12:00 AM
FLORENCE, Ky., Feb. 12, 2011 – La Gran Bailadora took her own sweet time through most of the $50,000 Likely Exchange Stakes at Turfway Park Saturday but got down to business in a hurry turning for home to post a 2 3/4-length length win over Hungry Tigress. Jonmil's Edge was another 3 1/4 lengths back in third. Final time for the one-mile race for older fillies and mares was 1:41.57.
"She was taking a little time to catch up on the bridle, so I just let her be for the first part," said winning rider Jozbin Santana. "I started getting after her at the five-eighths pole, and when we were coming to the quarter-pole, that's when she started picking it up. Around the three-sixteenths, she just exploded there and went on. Then she was waiting on the other horses."
La Gran Bailadora broke ninth and stayed ninth in the field of 11, racing behind Hungry Tigress as Live and Love clocked the first quarter in :24.32 and the half in :47.99. Zonga Zing, the 3-1 favorite, tracked the leader through half as Jonmil's Edge in turn tracked her, and the latter took second as the favorite began to fade. Live and Love still held a daylight lead at three-quarters, timed in 1:13.35, but behind her both Hungry Tigress and La Gran Bailadora had begun to roll. With a quarter to run, La Gran Bailadora was still eighth, 10 lengths off the lead. A furlong later she was fourth, just four lengths off the lead and closing fast.
A head behind Jonmil's Edge came Live and Love, followed by Sweet Mis Kitty, Coastal Solace, West Court, Native Miz, Dance to My Tune, Zonga Zing, and Champagne Jane. Hot Hot Mama and Rivie scratched.
Third choice at 5-1, La Gran Bailadora paid $12 to win, $5.40 to place, and $4 to show.
"She ran well. Looking at it on paper it looked like there'd be a quick pace, so the race set up good for her," said winning trainer Mike Maker. "We're very pleased—kept her win streak intact."
That win streak is now three, all at Turfway and all at the one-mile distance. Altogether La Gran Bailadora has four wins, one second, and two thirds in 13 starts for earnings of $105,889. The Likely Exchange is her first stakes win in two such tries.
By Afleet Alex out of the Affirmed mare Affirmed Dancer, 4-year-old La Gran Bailadora was bred and is owned by Tracy Farmer.