Twenty-two days after knocking off California breds in the Fran’s Valentine Stakes, Unusual Hottie
got the best of open company in the $90,370 Redondo Beach Sunday at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The victory by 1 ¼ lengths for the 4-year-old daughter of Unusual Heat was her third on turf of the Spring/Summer meet, meaning she’s yet to lose since joining the barn of trainer Jeff Mullins.
Out of the Ski Champ mare Branco Como Neve, Unusual Hottie won an optional claimer at six furlongs April 25 prior to her victories at one mile in the Fran’s Valentine and Redondo Beach.
Owned by Seyyed Nilforushan, Unusual Hottie covered the distance in 1:34.59. The victory was her seventh in 14 starts and boosted her earnings to $346,348.
In providing jockey Joe Talamo his meet high seventh stakes success, Unusual Hottie paid $8.80, $4.40 and $3 as the 3-1 favorite.
Saving ground while sitting off the pace set by Morocco Moon and Appealing with Sugarinthemorning in close attendance, Unusual Hottie angled three wide to engage the leaders early in the stretch, got the lead inside the final eighth of a mile and went on to win by three-quarters of a length.
“She sure makes our job easy,’’ said Mullins. “I really didn’t give any instructions to (Talamo). He knows her and works her all the time. She just continues to get better.
“She trains forwardly after each race. The sky’s the limit for her right now. She acts like she may run a little farther.’’
Customer Base, the 6-1 fourth choice making her second start of 2013 for trainer Tom Proctor, rallied for the place under jockey Garrett Gomez. The 4-year-old Lemon Drop Kid filly finished a neck in front of Sugarinthemorning, another 6-1 shot.
Customer Base returned $6.80 and $5.40 while Sugarinthemorning, the Fran’s Valentine runner-up, paid $5 to show.
Stormy Lucy, who was making her first start since trailing in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf last Nov. 2, was a half-length back in fourth. Morocco Moon, La Zubia, A Jealous Woman, Long Face, Appealing, Good Karma and Little Emily completed the order of finish. Journaliste was scratched.
One day removed from his upset win aboard Palace Malice in the Belmont Stakes, Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith won with his first mount back at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Smith, who earned his fourth Triple Crown victory – and second in the Belmont – Saturday, won the opener, a $63,720 allowance for older fillies and mares at six furlongs on turf, with 7-2 third choice Home Journey.