Amy C on her way to victory in the G3 Las Cienegas (Benoit Photo)
Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.— Quick into stride from the gate, Phil D’Amato’s English-bred Amy C attended the pace and rallied to take Monday’s Grade III, $100,000 Las Cienegas Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths and thus remain unbeaten in three tries down Santa Anita’s unique hillside turf course. Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Amy C, a recently turned 5-year-old mare, got about 6 ½ furlongs down the hill in 1:12.76 over a course listed as “good.”
About two lengths off dueling leaders Burgoo Alley, Freedom Flyer and Royal Address at the dirt crossing atop the stretch run, Amy C tipped out four-deep, accelerated and was threatened through the lane in her second consecutive hillside turf stakes victory.
A 1 ½ length winner of the ungraded Senator Ken Maddy Stakes off the hill on Oct. 29, Amy C was off as the 2-1 favorite among a field of eight older fillies and mares and paid $6.60, $4.00 and $3.00.
“This filly, she’s a pro,” said D’Amato, who also saddled Lady Edith and Burgoo Alley, who finished fifth and sixth respectively. “She loves it down the hill. Umberto said she switches leads crossing the dirt before he can even think about it, which is a great thing. Hopefully, we’ve got some nice races to look forward to here at Santa Anita.”
Owned by Madaket Stables, LLC, Michael Dubb and Robert LaPenta, Amy C notched her first graded stakes win and now has five wins from 10 overall starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $248,385.
“She knows how to cross the dirt, put her feet from the grass to the dirt, to the dirt to the grass,” said an ebullient Rispoli. “She’s very professional and I’m very glad to be on a horse like this.”
The longest shot in the field at 54-1, Lady Jae, who was last at the half mile pole, rallied between horses under Ryan Curatolo to edge Freedom Flyer by a nose for the place and paid $32.20 and $12.40.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Freedom Flyer finished a head better than Countess Rosina for third money in a blanket finish behind the winner. Off at 12-1, Freedom Flyer paid $6.40 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.61, 43.65 and 1:06.49.
The Las Cienegas was carded as the first of 10 races on Monday. Live racing will resume with first post time for an eight-race card on Friday at 12 noon.