Connie Swingle Takes It to the Hill in the Unzip Me

October 1, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif. – A gem of consistency under any conditions, Nick Alexander’s homebred Connie Swingle remained unbeaten down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course as she held off a fast-finishing Pammy’s Ready by a neck in Saturday’s $85,000 Unzip Me Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.  

Handled by regular rider Kyle Frey, who doubled on the day, Connie Swingle, a California-bred daughter of Grazen, got about 6 ½ furlongs down the hill in 1:11.87.

“It means everything. I’ve loved this horse since the first time I jumped on her. She’s done nothing but impress me every morning and every race. We had a couple setbacks that first time out off of the layoff, it was a bit of a setback. We just hooked a steady grind on the dirt. She’s a good dirt horse but she really does her best running in the turf. Especially down the hill,” Frey said. 

“I kind of kept her a little more geared up because speed’s been holding, and Umberto (Rispoli) is such a good turf rider. You don’t really want to let him get out there on his own. So, I made sure to not give him too much breathing room, and I knew if I hit the ground running and got away from everyone, that she has such a turn of foot and so much air that I just didn’t see anyone catching us. To be honest, if anyone did, she probably would have re-broke.”

Lapped on pacesetter Delmona to the dirt crossing, Connie Swingle, who gave Phil D’Amato his second training win on the day, blasted clear a furlong out and registered her second stakes win and her first in open company.  

“I’m happy. We got two wins. Hopefully we get one more with one more to go here. Kyle gave her a great ride, sat off the heavy speed there and pounced and had enough to hold off late. It’s Nick Alexander, another nice offspring of Grazen, and what can I say? It’s just a long line of success with that stallion,” said D’Amato.

Unbeaten in three hillside tries and a winner of four out of her last five starts, all with Frey, Connie Swingle is now 9-6-2-1 overall.

A half-length winner of a five furlong turf allowance at Del Mar Sept. 2, Connie Swingle, who is out of the Sky Mesa mare Sky Marni, was off as the 6-5 favorite in a field of nine and paid $4.60, $3.00 and $2.60.

“She’s now had nine starts, nine in the money and six wins. She just really wants to beat you. Kyle said when the other horse came to her, she wanted to break again, he just kind of waited. He knows her so well, she breaks fine. The last race she broke on the lead, and he took a hold of her and let the other speed catch up, then let her go away from them down the hill. This hillside seems to be perfect for her,” said owner Nick Alexander, proudly.

Far back early under Ramon Vazquez, Pammy’s Ready simply ran out of real estate as the wire appeared in time for the winner.  Off at 20-1, Pammy’s Ready finished three quarters of a length in front of Countess Rosina and paid $13.40 and $9.00.

Ridden by Ryan Curatolo, Countess Rosina paid $6.40 to show while off at 13-1.

Fractions on the race were 21.53, 43.52 and 1:05.75.

Santa Anita Press Release; UPDATED 10 2 2022 4:23 PM
Photo by Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire

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Another great piece by Jonathan!

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