Unlucky to lose going a mile and one eighth last time out, Slam Dunk Racing's Maxim Rate got a perfect trip under Kent Desormeaux in today's Grade III, $100,000 Senorita Stakes at Santa Anita and prevailed by a half length in game fashion. Trained by Simon Callaghan, the Kentucky-bred daughter of Exchange Rate got a flat mile on turf in 1:36.31.
With Ladymidtown setting the Senorita pace to quarter pole, Maxim Rate, who tracked in second throughout, pounced and then out-gamed Lady Prancealot the final eighth of a mile.
“I watched the tape of her last race (second by a nose in the Grade III Providencia Stakes on April 6) and you could see she was very unlucky to lose,” said Desormeaux, who was aboard for the first time today. “When Joe (Talamo, aboard Lady Prancealot) came to (my filly) at the eighth pole, she had to find two more gears…I think the pressure factor from (the other horses) helped her progress.”
Off at 6-5 in a field of six sophomore fillies, Maxim Rate paid $4.40, $2.60 and $2.20.
With the winner's share of $60,000, Maxim Rate nearly doubled her earnings to $123,000. A first-time out maiden winner at a mile on turf here Feb. 16, Maxim Rate, who is out of the Unbridled's Song mare Catch My Eye, now has two wins and a second from three starts.
“I watched the race here and it was very exciting,” said Callaghan via telephone from Churchill Downs. “I thought she'd be hard to beat after her last race. She got the trip we expected today and cutting back to a mile wasn't a concern.”
Lady Prancealot, who was last, about five lengths off the lead heading into the far turn, loomed menacingly turning for home while four-wide and was second best on the day, finishing three quarters of a length in front of Ladymidtown.
The second choice at 5-2, Lady Prancealot paid $3.20 and $2.60.
Ladymidtown tired late, but held third by a nose over English-bred Hostess. Off at 11-1 with Rafael Bejarano, Ladymidtown paid $3.80 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.89, 48.45, 1:12.89 and 1:24.78.
Racing will resume with a nine-race card on Sunday, with first post time at 1 p.m. Admission gates will open at 11 a.m. For additional information, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.
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