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Irish O'Brien: Lindz Winz Adores Slop

With weather conditions prompting a move of the $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes from the hillside turf course to the main track, the 6 ½-furlong event for California-bred fillies and mares lost three of its scheduled starters including 4-5 morning line favorite Unzip Me, a winner of 7 of 11 starts including six stakes races over the grass layout.


Lindz Winz, the longest shot at 8-1 among the remaining entrants, filled the void by stalking the early pace and rallying on the outside to capture the 15th running of St. Patrick’s Day fixture by 2 ¼ lengths over Camille C. She was timed in 1:15.58 over the sloppy surface.


The upset victory provided trainer Barry Abrams with his fourth win of the meet and jockey Edwin Maldonado with his second career victory in a “hundred grander” after having taken the Grade III Las Flores Stakes aboard Izzy Rules the previous Sunday.


The outcome did not surprise Abrams. “We took a chance and it worked out great for us,” said the trainer who co-owns the filly. “The only horse I was worried about was the favorite (Unzip Me) and the favorite scratched. That gave us the race. She was the sharpest filly in the race.


“This filly has a half-brother and a half-sister, who both won on this kind of a track (sloppy),” Abrams added. “I thought she was the only true sprinter in the race. The filly from Golden Gate (third-place finisher Advance Ticket) really hadn’t beaten any stakes horses, so I thought we had a good chance.”


A 4-year-old daughter of Vronsky owned by Huston Racing Stable and Little Red Feather Racing in partnership with Abrams, Lindz Winz had taken 10 races to break her maiden, which she did over the downhill turf course on Feb. 23. She had finished off the board in two previous tries on dirt, but the Irish O’Brien marked her first start over an off track.


“It’s pretty slippery and nasty on the track today,” said Maldonado. “I was hoping to go to the lead, but we let the No. 8 (Sunburn) go in front. I knew sooner or later the leader would get tired, and everything worked out as planned. This filly can run. She’s a small filly, but she tries hard every time.”

Lindz Winz paid $18.60, $7.80 and $2.80. Camille C, ridden by David Flores, returned $4.60 and $3.00. Advance Ticket, who finished 1 ¼ lengths behind the runner-up under jockey Kevin Krigger, paid $2.80 to show. Secret Cove, who inherited the favorite’s role at 7-5, checked in a well-beaten fourth. The winning purse of $60,000 boosted the career earnings of Lindz Winz to $122,626 from a 2-0-2 record in 12 starts.



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