Frankie Dettori and Ag Bullet take the Lady of Shamrock. (Benoit Photo)
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.—Attentive to the early pace, the George Papaprodromou-trained Ag Bullet spurted clear in deep stretch and held off favored The Wild Grazer on the money to take Sunday’s $100,000 Lady of Shamrock Stakes at Santa Anita. With Joe Bravo unable to ride today, Frankie Dettori filled in to take his fourth stakes win of the Classic Meet as Ag Bullet got a mile on turf in 1:35.82.
With Broadway Girls bounding to the lead from her outside post with Edwin Maldonado, Ag Bullet sat a measured second around the Club House turn and was about 2 ½ lengths off the lead at the half mile pole. A length back mid-way around the far turn, Ag Bullet got on terms with Broadway Girls at the top of the lane and opened up a two-length advantage a sixteenth of a mile out and prevailed over The Wild Grazer who was rolling late.
“It’s all good, it came out perfect,” said Papaprodromou. “I’m sorry for Joe because he got hurt yesterday but thank God, he’s fine and he’ll be back soon. Frankie rode a great race, he was able to sit second right off the pace, she made a nice run when he asked her, and she held on.”
A gate to wire six-furlong maiden turf winner in her second start here on Jan. 22, Ag Bullet was off as the narrow second choice in a field of seven sophomore fillies at 2-1 and paid $6.40, $3.20 and $2.40.
A Kentucky-bred filly by Twirling Candy out of the Forestry mare Noble Grey, Ag Bullet was purchased for $220,000 as a Keeneland September Yearling. Owned by Calvin Nguyen and Joey Tran, Ag Bullet banked $60,000 for the win, increasing her earnings to $101,600. Fifth in her six-furlong dirt debut Nov. 12 at Del Mar, she now has two wins from three starts.
“First time (going) a mile, she kind of relaxed for me,” said Dettori. “Then I thought, ‘Let’s go” and she opened up by two. The petro just ran out at the end, but luckily for us, the winning post was there in time.”
Third, a length off the winner turning for home while three-deep, Irish-bred The Wild Grazer hit her best stride late but ran out of real estate at the wire. The actual 2-1 favorite with Juan Hernandez up, she paid $3.60 and $2.60 while finishing three quarters of a length in front of Princess Bettina.
Off at 4-1 with Flavien Prat, Princess Bettina finished a half-length better than Tea N Conversation and paid $3.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 22.69, 47.58, 1:11.93 and 1:23.81.
Racing resumes with first post time for a seven-race card on Friday at 1 p.m.