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Home Sweet Aspen Takes Thrilling Santa Monica

Following a stirring stretch-long duel with Sugarinthemorning, Craig Stables’ Home Sweet Aspen emerged victorious by a neck Saturday in Santa Anita’s 55th running of the Grade I, $300,000 Santa Monica Stakes for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs before an on-track crowd of 30,514 on Sunshine Millions Day.

 

Timed in 1:21.42 under a vigorous ride by Joel Rosario, the homebred daughter of Candy Ride rebounded from a faltering fourth in the Grade I La Brea Stakes on Dec. 31 to gain her first graded stakes victory in her ninth start.

 

It wasn’t easy. Home Sweet Aspen and Sugarinthemorning, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, began to separate themselves from the other five entrants at the head of the lane. But neither would yield. It was Home Sweet Aspen, a 5-1 shot, along the rail with 9-2 Sugarinthemorning on her flank. Finally, Rosario’s mount slowly edged clear.

 

She’s Cheeky, ridden by Joe Talamo, wound up third, 2 ¼ lengths behind Sugarinthemorning. The two favorites, both 2-1, finished up the track. Teddy’s Promise, who won the La Brea by 2 ½ lengths, finished a non-threatening fifth. Rumor, never worse than second in seven previous starts, backed up to sixth as the narrow choice.

 

Rosario recalled the La Brea. “She was probably going a little too quick,” he said of his mount. “She was much better today. She was impressive. I kind of saw the other horse coming on the outside, so I just waited a little bit. I knew I had a little more left because I let her go out easy early, and she did.”

 

John Sadler, who trains Home Sweet Aspen and who won the Santa Monica last year with Switch, felt the rail post might have compromised his Candy Ride filly in the La Brea. “I felt she’s capable, and we got a good trip today,” he said. “I thought she’d run well in here today.”

 

The late Sidney Craig and wife Jenny bred Home Sweet Aspen, who finished off the board in her last two races following three wins and as many seconds in her first six starts. Her only previous stakes victory had been gained in last October’s ungraded Louis R. Rowan Stakes at Santa Anita.

 

With a winning purse of $180,000 in the Santa Monica, Home Sweet Aspen increased her earnings to $355,822. She paid $13.60, $6.80 and $4.40. Sugarinthemorning’s mutuels were $5 and $3.60. The show price on She’s Cheeky was $5.

 

 


 

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Older Comments about Home Sweet Aspen Takes Thrilling Santa Monica...

WHAT AN INCREDIBLY GAME SHE RAN IN THE SANTA MONICA , BEST RACE I'VE SEEN IN A LONG TIME EXCEPT FOR RON THE GREEK OF COURSE AND WITH MY FAVORITE RIDER JOSE LEZCANO

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