In a racing first, English-bred Rhythm of Light, who won the Group II International Istanbul Trophy in Istanbul, Turkey, on Sept. 1, shipped to Santa Anita and won her U.S. debut on Sunday, the Grade II Goldikova Stakes for fillies and mares at one mile on turf as Santa Anita’s 24-day Autumn Meet drew to a close.
Dispatched as the 2-1 favorite in a field of seven, Rhythm of Light was next-to-last early under Garrett Gomez, but rallied strongly through the stretch to put away runner-up A Jealous Woman and Brice Blanc late, winning by 1 ½ lengths while getting the distance in 1:33.42.
“She did everything like a class filly should, and she proved she was today,” said Gomez. “She was absolutely perfect about everything and traveled the last six furlongs exactly the way I wanted her to.
“She was never too keen or too much off the bridle and raced beautiful the whole time. When I asked her to pick it up, she picked up great and came home nice. I didn’t have to ask her for too much.”
Rhythm of Light paid $6.80, $4.60 and $3.40. With the winner’s share of $90,000, the 4-year-old daughter of Beat Hollow boosted her bankroll to $403,659. Trained by English-based Thomas Dascombe, she is owned by Deal, Lowe or Silver.
“I told the jockey she’s going to be slowly away from the American horses, so don’t ask her after the jump (break),” said Dascombe. “She’s got one run, and he (Gomez) got a nice, clean run at them, and she won well.”
A Jealous Woman, the lone California-bred in the Goldikova field, sat second to pace-setting Let’s Go Cheyenne through splits of 23.14, 47.23, 1:10.42 and 1:22.16. A Jealous Woman opened up a length and a half at the top of the stretch but could not withstand the late charge of the winner. Off as the second choice at odds of 7-2, she paid $5.40 and $3.80.
Vivo Per Lei, with Mike Smith up, rallied from off the pace but never threatened. She paid $4.40 to show.