Hronis Racing’s Iotapa, the even-money favorite ridden by
Joe Talamo, outran a stubborn Broken Sword in deep stretch to win the
featured Grade I $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on a rainy Saturday
afternoon at Del Mar.
The four-year-old filly, who was claimed for $50,000 at
Betfair Hollywood Park from her career debut in June, 2012, had to fight
hard to claim a half-length success in the mile and one-sixteenth
contest for older fillies and mares.
Coming into the race off a brilliant front-running
ten-length triumph in the Grade I Vanity Handicap June 14 at Santa
Anita, Iotapa was well-positioned stalking in second place as jockey
Rafael Bejarano sent Broken Sword to the lead out of the gate.
Iotapa moved up with authority on the outside turning into
the stretch to take a short lead but then had to dig deep to hold off
the tenacious Broken Sword, winning in 1:43.04 for the distance. Broken
Sword, who carried 119 to the winner’s 123 pounds, was 2 ¼ lengths in
front of Parranda, with Fiftyshadesofhay another length back in fourth
in the field of six distaffers. Legacy was scratched from the original
“I have to tip my cap to that Hollendorfer filly (Broken Sword)," said winning rider Joe Talamo. "She was
tough today. Coming off a layoff and she ran hard. When we made the
turn (for home), I let my filly drift out on purpose. I didn’t want to
get near her (Broken Sword). You don’t want to take on those tough ones.
My filly is special and this was a heckuva win for her. And I have to
give (trainer) John Sadler all the credit. He’s picked his spots for
this filly and she’s really doing well.”
The winner, a Kentucky-bred filly by Afleet Alex, earned
$180,000 with her sixth win in a dozen starts, all but her initial
victory in her debut accomplished in the Hronis Stables colors. Her
lifetime earnings are $796,796.
Since the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes is a Breeders’ Cup “Win
and You’re In” race, Iotapa’s entry fees and expenses will be paid for
her to compete in the $2 million B.C. Distaff at Santa Anita Friday,
In the mutuels, Iotapa paid $4, $2.60 and $2.40. Broken
Sword, sent postward at 5-1, returned $4.40 and $3.40, while Parranda
paid $3.80 to show.