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La Tia Wires Grade III Arlington Oaks
Hernandez Racing Club's Illinois-bred filly La Tia remained perfect in three starts as a 3-year-old and in three starts racing on Polytrack by wiring six open company rivals in the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Oaks.
The daughter of City Place set a leisurely pace of 24.81 seconds, 49.37 seconds, 1:14.07 and 1:38.43 but had to hold off a strong late rally from Sky Dreamer to preserve a three-quarter length victory. She covered the mile and an eighth over Polytrack in 1:51.46 to give winning jockey Constantino Roman his first graded stakes victory.
"She got out on the lead and ran great," said winning trainer Brian Williamson. "Constantino rode her great. She was two for two on the Polytrack (here) and won both races easily. So I thought we'd keep her on the Poly and give her a shot."
After finishing no better than third in three starts on dirt as a 2-year-old, La Tia was given the winter and spring off. She broke her maiden by nine lengths in her first start as a 3-year-old May 25 and the came back three weeks later to win the $113,125 Purple Violet Stakes against Illinois-breds by nearly the same margin on June 16.
The homebred filly now sports a record of three wins from six starts. With the winner's share of $88,200 she nearly doubled her earnings to $182,640.
Canadian invader Sky Dreamer, who made a three-wide move at the top of the stretch, closed sharply in the final furlong but fell short of catching the winner.
"She ran well," said Sky Dreamer's jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan. "She needs a bit more pace to run at."
It was five lengths back to third-place finisher Ire who was followed by Lady Candidate, Ann of the Dance, favored Treasured Up and Annie Russell to complete the order of finish.
"I had a good trip, but my filly never fired," said Miguel Mena of his trip aboard the beaten favorite. "Earlier in the race, she was never really on the bit."
La Tia paid $9.60, $4.20 and $3.80. Sky Dreamer paid $5.20 and $3.60. Ire paid $4.80.