Once again the winner of the $250,000 Vanity Handicap (Grade
I) won in last-to-first fashion, as Blind Luck swung wide to pass all five rivals through
the stretch as the 9-to-5 second choice and edged 7-to-5 favorite Switch by half
a length at the wire.
Blind Luck’s win was reminiscent of the past three editions
of the Vanity, when Zenyatta stormed down the center of the track through the
lane to victory after being dead last down the back stretch.
“I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t have much ground to make up and
I couldn’t get her tucked in the way I wanted to,” said jockey Garrett Gomez of
the slow early pace that saw the first half mile run in 50.1. “She loves to run
in the lane and she has a heck of a turn of foot.”
The final time of 1:50.4 was the slowest Vanity ever in its
60th running, resulting in a bunched field at the finish with just three
lengths separating all six runners.
“I think Garrett was a little bit closer today than he ordinarily
would have been and the only thing I said to him before the race was to try to
watch the pace and see what happens,” said trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “I think
Bob (Baffert) did a great job trying to slow the pace down with his speed filly
Despite setting the slow pace, American Story faded to last behind
Miss Match, St Trinians and She’s Cheeky.
Last year’s three-year-old champion has now won 11-of-20
career starts and pushed her earnings over $2.8 million. This was her first
race off of a dirt surface in over a year, but the daughter of Pollard’s Vision
will likely return to dirt for her next start looking for a repeat victory in the
$750,000 Delaware Handicap (Grade II) on July 16.
The other option would be to run at Del Mar over their synthetic Polytrack
“I’m not opposed to the synthetic, I just think early in the
year she might not have gotten tracks that she liked,” said Hollendorfer of
Blind Luck, who had run second five straight times prior to winning her last
two. “Her feet might have been bugging her a little bit too. She wasn’t just quite
100 percent, but I think she is today.”
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