Photo: Benoit Photo
Relaxed early and full of run late, On the Backstreets
was a prompt 2 ¼ length winner of Saturday’s $75,000 Sweet Life Stakes at Santa Anita, covering 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in 1:12.44.
Ridden by Rafael Bejarano and trained by Peter Miller, On the Backstreets was the 9-5 favorite in a field of seven 3-year-old fillies. Making her fifth career start on Saturday, she followed up a convincing allowance score down the hill on Jan. 19 with her best effort to-date.
“This was my first time on her in a race, but she’s been amazing in the mornings and today she was very comfortable,” said Bejarano. “I saw the one horse (Sprague River) go so I just followed the speed and sat second. I didn’t even have to ask her. I think she’ll be real good going two turns.”
With longshot Sprague River and Joe Talamo showing the way to the top of the lane, On the Backstreets cruised up to the leader crossing the dirt at the top of the lane and from there, the result was never in doubt.
“The race set up the way we thought it would,” said Miller. “I wanted to put Sprague River on the lead and she broke a little slow and rushed up, so my other filly (On the Backstreets) rated beautifully just behind her and Rafael never really had to ask her to run…I’m looking forward to stretching her out.”
Owned by David Lanzman Racing Stable, Inc., and partners, On the Backsteets paid $5.80, $3.20 and $2.60. A Pennsylvania-bred filly by Street Boss, she picked up $46,260 for the win, increasing her earnings to $118,510.
Famous Alice, the second choice at 2-1 with Mike Smith, rallied from off the pace to be second, 1 ¾ lengths in front of Smoove It and Mario Gutierrez.
Famous Alice paid $3.40 and $2.80.
Off at 15-1, Smoove It paid $4.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.98, 44.61 and 1:06.84.