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
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
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.