Spring Style's wait for her first stakes victory ended in her 6-year-old debut Jan. 1 when she held off Harmonious by a nose to win the $147,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes (gr. IIT) on the turf at Santa Anita.
The 1 1/8-mile Frankel, formerly the San Gorgonio Handicap and now named for the great trainer, was reduced to a field of four with the scratch of Eclair de Lune. And with absolutely no pace on, the race essentially came down to a quarter-mile sprint for the wire.
Ridden expertly by Garrett Gomez, Spring Style took the lead into the stretch from Powerofvoodoo and enjoyed first run on 3-10 choice Harmonious, who charged from last on the outside, and Go Forth North, rallying along the inside. Spring Style, between horses, inched away briefly and was under strong left-handed urging late as Harmonious gradually closed in. Spring Style reached the wire just in time in a slow 1:51.08 clocking over firm going.
Spring Style carried 118 pounds, five fewer than the top-weighted Harmonious.