Hillside Turf Specialist Connie Swingle Heads Distaffers in Senator Ken Maddy

October 27, 2022

Connie Swingle winning the Unzip Me at Santa Anita Oct. 1. Benoit Photo 

Air Force Red prominent In $80,000 Lure 

ARCADIA, Calif.—Unbeaten in three tries down Santa Anita’s unique hillside turf course, Nick Alexander’s homebred Connie Swingle seeks her third consecutive win and her second straight hillside turf stakes victory as she heads a field of nine fillies and mares aged three and up in Saturday’s $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs down the hill.

The Senator Ken Maddy honors the late California state senator who represented California’s Central Valley for nearly 30 years and was a tremendous supporter of Thoroughbred racing throughout his career in public office.

A gutty neck winner versus sophomore fillies in open company in the ungraded Unzip Me Stakes down the hill Oct. 1, Connie Swingle, a 3-year-old California-bred filly by Grazen out of the Sky Mesa mare Sky Marni, handled older competition going five furlongs on turf at Del Mar two starts back on Sept. 2, drawing clear by a half length under regular rider Kyle Frey

Race Is Named In Honor Of State Senator Who Was An Enthusiastic Supporter Of Racing

Trained by Phil D’Amato, Connie Swingle, a two-time stakes winner, will face open company for the third time in a row on Saturday.  Remarkably consistent, she’s been lights-out in two hillside turf tries, taking an open first condition allowance by 2 ¾ lengths on May 7 and a classified allowance down the hill on June 11 by 5 ½ lengths.

A virtual gate to wire winner of both of her hillside starts, “Connie,” who is 9-6-2-1 overall, will likely be winging on the front end as she tries to enhance her bankroll of $411,564.
A solid 1 ½ length allowance winner in her only hillside try on Sept. 30, Freedom Flyer, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred daughter of Constitution out of the Carson City mare Rebuke, looms dangerous with Juan Hernandez back aboard for Leonard Powell.

Owned by Marsha Naify, Freedom Flyer, who is 18-3-5-3 overall, seeks her first stakes win.

The Senator Ken Maddy 
Race 9 of 10 post time 5 p.m. PT
1.    Royal Address                      Joe Bravo                         Leonard Powell                    4-1
2.    Stella Noir                              Ryan Curatolo                  Jonathan Wong                    6-1
3.    She’s So Nice                       Ricardo Gonzalez            Phil D’Amato                         9/5
4.    Act of Serendipity                 Edgar Payeras                 Genaro Vallejo                     50-1
5.    Freedom Flyer                      Juan Hernandez              Librado Barocio                    30-1
6.    Amy C                                    Umberto Rispoli               Neil Drysdale                        15-1
7.    Lexington Honor                   Ramon Vazquez              Phil D’Amato                         8-1
8.    Connie Swingle                    Kyle Frey                          Keith Desourmeaux             15-1
9.    Lady Jane                              Hector Berrios                  Phil D’Amato                         3-1
10. Aqua Seafoam Shame        Eduardo Maldonado       George Papaprodromou     12-1

Air Force Red a Standout In $80,000 Lure 

In what appears to be a wide-open affair for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on turf, the Leonard Powell-trained Air Force Red figures prominently among a field of six in Saturday’s $80,000 Lure Stakes, which is restricted to horses which have not won a stakes of $55,0000 at one mile or over other than statebred in 2022.

With three wins from eight starts this year, Air Force Red, winless in his last three tries, comes off a fifth-place finish going about 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf in the Grade II Eddie D Stakes Oct. 1.  Fourth, beaten 3 ½ lengths by rising star Hong Kong Harry two back in the Grade II Del Mar Mile (turf), Air Force Red will be reunited with Juan Hernandez, who rationed his considerable speed to a half-length allowance win coming down the hill four starts back on June 12.

With Hernandez apparently taking off California-bred Carmelita’s Man, with whom he had won three consecutive races, Air Force Red could garner some additional pari-mutuel notice.  Owned by Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners and Holly Golightly, Air Force Red, a 4-year-old ridgling by Air Force Blue out of the Mizzen Mast mare Mesana, is winless in two tries at one mile on turf, but all three of his lifetime wins have come over the Santa Anita lawn.

Although winless in six tries at one mile on turf, Phil D’Amato’s Gregorian Chant is a well accomplished sort who may go favored on Saturday.  Third, beaten two lengths while finishing three quarters of a length in front of Air Force Red as the 2-1 favorite in the Oct. 1 Eddie D, this 6-year-old English-bred gelding has five wins from 12 tries over the Santa Anita turf, including a victory in the Grade III San Simeon at six furlongs out of the turf chute in March, 2021.

Owned by Old Bones Racing Stable, LLC and Slam Dunk Racing, Gregorian Chant, winless in his last four starts, will be ridden for the third time in a row by Umberto Rispoli.  With an overall mark of 23-7-1-5, he has earnings of $428,623.

The $80,000 Lure Stakes 
Race 1 of 10 Post time is 1 p.m. PT
1.    Carmelita’s Man                   Mike Smith                        Dean Pederson                    3-1
2.    Prince Abama                       Hector Berrios                  Phil D’Amato                         5/2
3.    Gregorian Chant                  Umberto Rispoli               Phil D’Amato                         2-1
4.    Lambeau                               Victor Espinoza                John Shirreffs                       15-1
5.    Air Force Red                       Juan Hernandez              Leonard Powell                    5/2
6.    Mr. Impossible                      Joe Bravo                         Simon Callaghan                 12-1

Santa Anita Press Release

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@PastTheWire wow. I am thankful you took the time to provide such detail about an all time great horse and the tragedy of that final race.

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