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Indigo River Finishes Strong in Sweet Life

Irish-bred Indigo River, bet down to 8-5 favoritism, posted her second victory in as many starts over Santa Anita’s downhill turf course Sunday when she outfinished Vionnet by 1 ½ lengths to capture the third running of the $73,950 Sweet Life Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 6 ½ furlongs.


With Joel Rosario in the saddle after being aboard for the bay filly’s victory in her U.S. debut on Jan. 13, Indigo River closed strongly on the far outside to run the distance in 1:13.36 while drawing clear under a vigorous hand ride.


Vionnet, whose dam, Cambiocorsa, won an unparalleled eight straight races over the unique downhill layout during 2005 and ’06, defeated pacesetter Dypsy by 1 ¾ lengths for the place. Woebegon was scratched earlier in the day to reduce the field to seven.


“Believe it or not, she kind of needed the first race we gave her here (on Jan. 13),” Jeff Mullins, who trains Indigo River for Michael House, said in the winner’s circle. “That was our plan, to just give her a race and if she won, fine. But, man, she’s trained really well.”


Indigo River, who joined the Mullins’ barn after winning one of three starts in Ireland, will move on to graded stakes company. “We’re pointing for the Providencia down the road,” said the trainer. The Grade II, $150,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/8 miles on turf is to be contested on April 7 at Santa Anita.


Rosario apparently will stick with her. “She ran a little better today than she did last time out,” said Santa Anita’s leading rider. “I think when she learns how to relax, she will get even better. She’s a very nice filly.”


For her victory in the Sweet Life, Indigo River paid $5.20, $3.20 and $3. Vionnet, ridden by David Flores, returned $6 and $4.20. Dypsy, with Joe Talamo aboard, paid $5.80 to show. The winning purse of $44,370 increased the winner’s earnings to $98,106.



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