Lucky Girl an impressive winner in China Doll

March 7, 2022

ARCADIA, Calif. —An impressive stakes winner over the course on Jan. 30, the Richard Baltas-trained Lucky Girl was nonetheless a generous overlay at 6-1 in Sunday’s $100,000 China Doll Stakes at Santa Anita and courtesy of a heady ride by Joe Bravo, rewarded her backers with a solid three quarter length victory as she got a mile on grass in 1:36.02.

Breaking from the far outside in a field of eight sophomore fillies, Lucky Girl had one horse beat around the Club House turn and remained next to last, about five lengths off Pammy’s Ready heading to the half mile pole while under a snug hold.  At that point, the man known as “Jersey Joe” turned her loose and mid-way on the far turn, Lucky Girl was second while three-deep, but Bravo allowed her to idle in behind Pammy’s Ready approaching the quarter pole and then stepped on the gas turning for home in a most impressive win.

“I think women have a mind of their own and I’m not going to tell a woman what to do,” joked Bravo, who was also aboard for the Lady of Shamrock win.  “It was pretty wild, they were identical races…You don’t see many horses that can do a middle move like that.  She gets her breath and composure and then takes off again turning for home.  Richard’s done a great job bringing her along.”

Installed at 3-1 on the morning line, Lucky Girl was off at 6-1 and paid $14.00, $7.40 and $4.00.

Owned by Panic Stable, LLC, Lucky Girl, who won the Lady of Shamrock as a maiden is now two for six and with the winner’s share of $60,000, increased her earnings to $113,663.

“I was kind of surprised, but not really,” said Baltas, when asked about the early move.  “She was kind of shut off in the beginning and they weren’t going that fast, but he made that early move.  She kind of like made two moves.  She made that move around the horses and then she took a breath and she rebroke again…It was kind of a funny race but it’s always great when you win.”

An Agent Mistake, fourth about two lengths off the lead at the top of the lane, rallied well under a patient Mario Gutierrez and paid $21.00 and $7.60 while off at 23-1.

Ridden by Umberto Rispoli, Sterling Crest had two horses beat off the turn for home, put in a determined bid, by finishing a half length behind An Agent Mistake for third money.  Off at 2-1, and also trained by Baltas, Sterling Crest paid $2.80 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.51, 47.87, 1:12.02 and 1:23.68.

First post time for an eight-race card on Monday is at 12:30 p.m.

Santa Anita Press Office

Photo: Lucky Girl and Joe Bravo get up to win the China Doll/Benoit Photo

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