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Anniversary Girl Wins Turf Feature

Improving 3-year-old filly Anniversary Girl validated her 17-10 favoritism Friday with a one-length victory over Last Sting in Santa Anita’s $50,038 Desert Island Purse for fillies and mares at one mile on turf.

With Joel Rosario in the irons, Anniversary Girl rallied from next to last in the field of 10 to take control in the final sixteenth while running the distance in 1:35.84. Last Sting edged Born Lucky for the place by a neck.

The winner paid $5.40, $3.40 and $2.80. Last Sting, ridden by Alonso Quinonez, returned $8.80 and $5.80. The show mutuel on Born Lucky, with Victor Espinoza aboard, was $7.60.

Trained by recent Hall of Fame inductee Jerry Hollendorfer for Barnett Stables, Anniversary Girl had taken eight races to break her maiden. She scored by 5 ½ lengths at Golden Gate on May 8 when Hollendorfer added blinkers.

Following one lackluster performance over a soggy turf course at Golden Gate, the daughter of Aragorn bounced back to win a $50,000 claimer at Del Mar. She subsequently turned in two solid runner-up efforts in allowance competition at Del Mar before notching her third victory in the Desert Island Purse, a first condition allowance event.

“It’s seems like she is running better with the blinkers and with this rider,” Dan Ward, Hollendorfer’s chief assistant, said in the winner’s circle. “She’s a little filly and she’s run well for me all three times I’ve ridden her,” said Rosario.

“You can lay close with her or take her back and she finishes real good,” added the jockey who confidently sent her home on the extreme outside in order to avoid trouble. “She’s doing good right now,” he concluded.

Anniversary Girl bettered her record to 3-4-3 in 13 starts. The winning purse of $28,800 increased her career earnings to $143,660.



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