Include Me Out remained perfect around two turns, winning the $150,000 Marjorie L. Everett Handicap Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The three-quarters of a length victory as the 13-10 favorite was the
third in a row – all in graded races – for the 4-year-old daughter of
Include and the Mazel Trick mare Don’t Trick Me.
Trained by Ron Ellis for owner Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable,
Include Me Out stalked the soft pace outside of 2-1 third choice
Ellafitz for most of the journey, gained the lead early in the stretch
and held sway under left handed urging from jockey Joe Talamo.
The final time for the 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track was 1:44.15.
In winning the Grade II, which followed victories in the Grade II La
Canada and Grade I Santa Margarita earlier in the year at Santa Anita,
Include Me Out paid $4.60, $2.40 and $2.20.
Bred in Kentucky by Brereton C. Jones, Include Me Out has won five
of nine. She increased her earnings to $453,600. The win was her first
at Betfair Hollywood Park. The dark bay had finished second behind
stablemate – and eventual Grade I winner – Teddy’s Promise in her
Cushion Track debut last Nov. 25.
“On paper it looked like it would go like that and it was perfect,’’
said Ellis after his third win in the Everett, which, prior to this
year, had been called the Milady Handicap. “This filly hadn’t run in two
months and she got the job done. She’s real push button and (Talamo)
pushed her a little early to make Ellafitz get clear.
“We have a lot of confidence in our filly. Luckily, she can kind of
sit where you need her to sit. She’s very professional and very smart.
She wants to do her job, wants to win.’’
Ellis, whose earlier Everett wins came with Twice The Vice (1996)
and I’Aint Bluffing – for Jay Em Ess – in 1998, indicated Include Me Out
will return in the Grade I, $250,000 Vanity Handicap June 16.
The win was the second in the race for Talamo – the first was with
Nashoba’s Key in 2007 – and he echoed Ellis in his praise for Include Me
“She’s just so smart, you can do whatever you want with her,’’ said
Talamo. “If there was ever a case where there’s no speed, she could wire
the field. If they go (the half mile) in 45 and change like they did in
the La Canada, she can come from five or six out of it.’’
Ellafitz, who had won the Grade II Bayakoa Handicap in her most
recent local start last Dec. 4, paid $3.20 and $2.60. Caelis, a 22-1
shot, was third, 1 ½ lengths behind Ellafitz. Her show price was $3.80.
Making her first start of 2012, Zazu, the 9-5 second choice, was
fourth. Idle since capturing the Grade I Lady’s Secret last Oct. 1, the
gray daughter of Tapit was positioned close to the leaders while saving
ground early, but couldn’t match strides in the final furlong. She wound
up 3 ½ lengths back of the winner.
Suzettes Friend and Love Thewayyouare completed the order of finish.
The latter unseated jockey Alonso Quinonez after bobbling at the start.
Both horse and rider escaped injury. Kayce Ace was scratched.
In the day’s other graded race, the scratch of 7-5 second choice
Killer Graces – a three time stakes winner over Betfair Hollywood Park’s
Cushion Track – didn’t prevent Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer
from winning the $98,000 Railbird Stakes for the first time Saturday.
Via Villaggio, the 10-1 second choice in a field of four 3-year-old
fillies, surprised 1-20 favorite Sister Moon to win the Grade III by a half-length.
Owned by Steve Beneto, who was appointed to the California Horse
Racing Board by Gov. Jerry Brown two days earlier, the Bernardini filly
out of the Alhaarth mare Hoh Buzzard won for the third time in 10
This was the first graded appearance for Via Villaggio over a
synthetic surface and she responded to an aggressive ride by jockey
Pedroza and the Kentucky bred challenged pacesetter Sister Moon, who
was racing well off the rail due to her own drifting tendencies, along
the inside around the far turn, then prevailed after a stretch long
Completing the distance in 1:23.03, Via Villaggio returned $23 and
$3. The $60,000 payday increased her earnings to $121,070. This was her
first victory outside Northern California. Her two prior wins came over
the Tapeta surface at Golden Gate Fields.
“It was a beautiful trip,’’ said Pedroza, who was also winning the
Railbird for the first time. “When I saw that filly (Sister Moon)
getting out, I thought maybe (Gomez) was just setting me up to get in
there, but I could see she kept drifting out.
“I didn’t want to take any chances on getting stopped, so I got up
inside when I could. It was better to take a chance and move a little
early rather than having to check and lose my momentum.’’
Seeking her third win in five starts in her initial graded
appearance, Sister Moon paid $2.10. The daughter of Dixie Union
attracted $253,521 of the $271,073 wagered to place. There was no show
“I can only ride them if they go straight,’’ said Gomez. “From the
time I left the gate she wanted to drift with me. I couldn’t get her any
closer to the fence.
“Turning for home, I let her go to the middle of the race track,
thinking that maybe she’d run. She didn’t run horrible, just not the way
she was expected.’’
Hollendorfer, who said he scratched Killer Graces “because he had a
little problem with her,’’ added Via Villaggio could return in the Grade
II, $150,000 Hollywood Oaks June 23.
Dijarvo finished third, 4 ½ lengths behind Sister Moon while Lady Fairbanks trailed throughout.