Racing & Wagering

Barn Notes: Saturday, August 24, 2013

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/24/2013 #

Hernandez Racing Club’s La Tia, who made all the running in the Grade I Beverly D. before finishing a valiant fifth, has exited her run in great shape, according to trainer Armando De La Cerda.

“She just galloped Friday and looks like she came back very good,” the conditioner reported.  “She looks even better now.”

In the Beverly D., the daughter of City Place ran strong fractions of :48.16, 1:11.76 and a mile in 1:35.97 before being passed by runaway winner Dank.  She gallantly fought on to just miss hitting the board at the wire in a three-horse photo with multiple Grade I winner Marketing Mix and Grade III winner Ausus. 

La Tia’s Equibase Speed Figure of 111 was a career best and her mettlesome effort inspired jockey Kent Desormeaux, who was on her for the first time, to report “I know why she’s a local fan favorite.  It took world class horses to beat her.  We went out pretty quick but we had pressure early.  She really stuck her neck out.  Five eighths out and they started running at her.  It was a hardy move and she still hung on.”

The plucky Illinois-bred filly apparently is feeling so well coming out of the race, she expressed such to her exercise rider on Friday morning.  “She tried to run off with the rider.  She’s is feeling really good – very fresh.  I can tell she is very happy,” De La Cerda reported.  “Just like after the first time she ran a mile and three-sixteenths (in the July 13 Grade III Modesty Handicap), she is fitter now.  It looks like it helped her.”

The three-time Arlington stakes-winning filly may take her show on the road over the next two months, according to her connections.  “I know we lost to some very good fillies, but we were right there.  We will look at a few races.  There’s (the Sept. 21 $100,000 Lady Baltimore Stakes) at Laurel Park and there’s the (Sept. 16 Grade II Canadian Stakes at Woodbine).  We may look at the (Grade I) Spinster (Stakes at Keeneland) on the Polytrack and (the Illinois Princess Handicap) for Illinois-breds at Hawthorne (Race Course) in October,” said De La Cerda.

La Tia, a graded stakes winner on the Polytrack in 2012, has raced solely on grass in 2013.  “I’m not sure which she’s better on.  I think she’s just very good, overall.  Last year she won the Arlington Oaks on the Polytrack, but I think the competition on the grass for her has been much harder this year,” explained De La Cerda. 

James Wigan’s Dank, a superbly impressive 4¼ length runaway winner of the Aug. 17 Grade I Beverly D. Stakes, may bring her budding superstardom back stateside after her Arlington tour de force.  According to Elaine Westgate, the groom sent over in charge of the Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly while she was in America, the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf is “in the cards – fingers crossed!

“She’s out in her pen right now with the sun on her back.  She has put on nine pounds since the race.  She thrives on her racing and aims to please,” an elated Westgate continued.  Dank’s Beyer Speed Figure of 108 in the Beverly D. is the co-highest figure of any turf horse – male or female – in North America in 2013 and is eight points higher than Real Solution earned in the Grade I Arlington Million one race later. 

The Beverly D. is a Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In race, which guarantees the victor a berth in the premier filly and mare turf race in North America.  Dank would look to become the first Beverly D. winner to claim both if she ships over and is successful at Santa Anita.