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Iotapa Outruns Broken Sword in Hirsch

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 field.

“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, October 31.

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.

 

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