Cholula Lips kisses them goodbye in Los Alamitos' Soviet Problem

By Bob Mieszerski/Los Alamitos
December 14, 2019 07:53pm
Cholula Lips kisses them goodbye in Los Alamitos' Soviet Problem
Photo: Benoit

Making her first start over the track where she is stabled, Cholula Lips, an 8-1 shot, scored a decisive victory in the $101,053 Soviet Problem Stakes Saturday at Los Alamitos.

After tracking the early pace set by 187-1 outsider Phoenix Tears, the daughter of Empire Way  took over with a little over a quarter of a mile to run and went on to win by three lengths under jockey Tyler Baze.

Owned by Amanda Navarro and breeder Terry Lovingier and trained by Mike Harrington, Cholula Lips completed the mile in 1:37.85 in a race restricted to 2-year-old fillies bred or sired in California.

Out of the Rio Verde mare Sweet Lips Pooh, Cholula Lips paid $18.40, $6.80 and $5.60 while winning for the second time in seven starts. The $57,000 payday pushed her bankroll to $159,250.

“(Baze) rode a heckuva race,’’ said Harrington. “He said he could have gone to the lead sooner with her than he did. It came out just like we drew it up and how often does that happen?

“I thought she would run well, but (Been Studying Her, who finished fourth as the 2-5 favorite) had beaten her twice, so you have to think about that, but this filly trains super over this track.’’

Smiling Shirlee, the 5-1 second choice in a field reduced to nine after the scratch of Warren’s Showtime, returned $4.60 and $4.60 while the show price on 19-1 shot Warrior’s Moon, who was a nose back of the runner-up, was $10.80.

Racing resumes Sunday at Los Alamitos. Post time for closing day of the Winter Meet is 12:30 p.m.

The main event on the nine-race program is the $100,000 King Glorious Stakes. The one-mile contest attracted six 2-year-olds bred or sired in California.

The 7-5 favorite on Russ Hudak’s morning line is Tap Back. Owned by co-breeder Richard Barton and trained by Jeff Bonde, the son of Einstein is 2-for-4 with earnings of $163,100 and comes off a blowout victory in the Golden State Juvenile Nov. 1 at Santa Anita. Drayden Van Dyke will ride.


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