ARCADIA, Calif. – Trainer Richard Mandella’s heavily favored Dogtag rallied from mid-pack to take Sunday’s $75,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes by 1 ¼ lengths, thus providing Santa Anita’s runaway leading rider Flavien Prat with his fourth win of the day and his 79th victory through 56 racing days.
With a hillside start, Dogtag was allowed to settle into stride in the first run by the wire as Prat had her on a long rein, about 3 ½ lengths off pacesetter Desert Oasis heading into the far turn. Despite the fact Dogtag had moderate fractions to run into, she unfurled a dazzling turn of foot around the turn and hit the front turning for home, from where she was not seriously challenged.
A handy 1 ½ length second condition allowance winner while pressing the pace at a flat mile here on May 16, Dogtag, a 4-year-old filly by War Front who is owned by her breeder, LNJ Foxwoods, was off as the 4-5 favorite in a field of seven fillies and mares and paid $3.60, $2.80 and $2.20.
“She was very professional and she handled the course beautifully,” said Prat, who was aboard for the first time today. “The mile and a quarter is always a question, but just about everybody was trying it for the first time and the way she relaxed, it was no problem at all. When I asked her around the turn, she took me to the lead very nice, it looks like she’s got a big future.”
Out of the Unbridled’s Song mare Diamond Necklace, Dogtag who was Grade III stakes placed last July at Saratoga when trained by Chad Brown, picked up her third ungraded stakes win today in her third start for Mandella and improved her overall mark to 9-4-1-2. With the winner’s share of $48,360, Dogtag increased her earnings to $247,511.
“She seems to be getting better and better,” said Mandella. “I thought she’d break sharp and be on the lead, but Flavien got her to settle real nice, which was good. He usually does the right thing. We’ll go ahead and point to the John Mabee at Del Mar (Grade II, 1 1/8 miles on turf Sept. 5).”
Ridden by Tiago Pereira, Don’t Blame Judy rallied from next to last to finish second, besting a late closing Pretty Point by a head. Off at 10-1, Don’t Blame Judy paid $6.60 and $4.20.
Ridden by Mike Smith, Pretty Point got rolling late from last and paid $3.80 to show while off at 9-1.
With three days remaining in the current stand which concludes next Sunday, Prat has built an unsurmountable 23 length advantage over Abel Cedillo, 83-60.
Fractions on the Possibly Perfect were 23.70, 48.20, 1:12.82 and 1:37.26.
Racing resumes on Friday with first post time for a nine-race card at 1 p.m.
Santa Anita Press Release
Photo: Dogtag. Credit: Benoit Photos