multiple minor stakes winner in her native England, 7-5 favorite Rhagori
rallied from off the pace under Rafael Bejarano in her U.S. debut
Friday, taking Santa Anita’s third race by a neck in a $58,000 allowance
for older fillies at one mile on turf, covering the distance in
Trained by Simon Callaghan, the 5-year-old mare by the Danehill
stallion Exceed And Excel had been idle since Oct. 31 at Lingfield,
Rhagori settled into stride next-to-last in a field of five into the
Club House turn and was within striking distance into the far turn.
While still within herself, she rallied smartly around the turn and was
three-wide turning for home and wore down 9-5 second choice Miss Well
Molded inside the sixteenth pole to win in-hand.
“Simon said she missed her last work so he told me that because there
were really only two speed horses (Lilbourne Eliza and Miss Well
Molded), he didn’t want me too far back. I found my position and we
went from there. She was easily the best horse in there.”
Owned by Michael House, Rhagori paid $4.80, $2.80 and $2.20. With the
winner’s share of $34,800, she increased her earnings to $73,682. She
now has five wins from 15 career starts.
“She picked it up well and she won easily in the end,” said Callaghan.
“I think she’ll progress from here and a mile, or a mile and a an
eighth will be perfect for her.”
California-bred Miss Well Molded, ridden by Joe Talamo, sat a close
second to Lilbourne Eliza through splits of 23.56, 47.09, 1:10.98 and
1:22.59, made the lead a furlong out and was game to the wire, finishing
second, 2 ¼ lengths clear of the pacesetter.
Miss Well Molded paid $2.60 and $2.40.
Lilbourne Eliza, ridden by Victor Espinoza, was off at 4-1 and paid $2.60 to show.