A rousing seven length allowance/optional claimer winner in her U.S.
debut at Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 2, English-bred Judy In Disguise
tried 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course for the first
time in Saturday’s $75,000 Sweet Life Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and
responded with a tough as nails half length victory under Rafael
Bejarano, negotiating the course in 1:12.25.
By the Elusive Quality stallion Elusive City and trained by
Simon Callaghan, Judy In Disguise broke from post position four in a
nine-horse field and layed second down the hill behind 30-1 longshot
Roveing Patrol and Julien Leparoux. At the half mile pole, “Judy” made
the lead coming to the dirt crossing at the top of the lane and then
seemed to re-rally after falling a length behind second place finisher
Doinghardtimeagain and Joe Talamo.
“The number nine (Doinghardtimeagain) made me win because my
filly got a little lazy and then she got mad,” said Bejarano. “I really
didn’t want to make the lead as early as I did, but I wanted my horse
to be comfortable…She stopped running hard until that horse went by us,
and then she got mad.”
Those who backed Judy In Disguise were plenty happy, as she was
an overlay at 5-1, up from her morning line of 7-2. She paid $12.00,
$6.20 and $4.20.
“She’s tough,” said Callaghan. “She’s small but she kind of
doesn’t know it. She’s kind of making her own plan, she’s exceeding our
expectations a little bit…He (Bejarano) gave her a great ride, in the
perfect position. She put her head down and tried really hard so it was
great. We’re going to give her a little bit of a break now. She’s run
two pretty close together so we’ll give her a bit of time, then work it
With the winner’s share of $45,810, Judy In Disguise bumped her
earnings to $79,409. Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, her record
now stands at 6-4-0-0.
Doinghardtimeagain, off at 7-1 finished a length in front of Heir Kitty and paid $6.60 and $4.40.
With fractions of 21.28, 43.58 and 1:06.19 to run at, it
appeared the race was setting up for 3-1 second choice Heir Kitty, who
was last with Garrett Gomez at the half mile and came three-wide into
the stretch but ended up third-best, finishing 1 ¼ lengths in front of
longshot Escape Act and Corey Nakatani.
Heir Kitty paid $3.20 to show.
Even money favorite Jubiliant Girl, ridden by Martin Garcia, had an uneventful trip and had to settle for fifth money.