In a thrilling three-horse photo finish, Reddam Racing's Mopotism prevailed by head to take Saturday's Grade II, $200,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita. Ridden by Mario Gutierrez and trained by Doug O'Neill, the 4-year-old daughter of Uncle Mo got a flat mile in 1:37.29.
Graded stakes placed on four occasions, Mopotism, who was most recently third in the Grade I, seven furlong La Brea Stakes here on Dec. 26, notched her first graded stakes win as she stretched out a furlong today.
Attentive to the pace throughout, Mopostism was a stalking second to Northern California invader Mended heading into the far turn and was all-out while a length behind her with a furlong to run, but gradually wore her down as longshot La Force forged up the rail late to make it a three-way thriller.
The second choice in a field of eight older fillies and mares at 2-1, Mopotism paid $6.80, $3.60 and $3.00.
Purchased for $300,000 at a 2-year-old in training sale in March, 2016, Mopotism improved her overall mark to 15-3-4-2. With the winner's share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $561,200.
Claimed for a paltry $12,500 eleven starts back at Golden Gate Fields on Jan. 6, 2017, front-running mended had rattled off 10 consecutive wins for trainer John Martin, including a restricted Claiming Crown stakes going a flat mile at Gulfstream Park Dec. 2, which was also her most recent start.
Sent to the lead by Golden Gate-based Ricardo Gonzalez, she laid down splits of 23.81, 47.94, 1:12.32 and 1:24.50 and showed tremendous courage in defeat.
Off at 7-1, Mended paid $6.20 and $4.00.
German-bred La Force, who was also in close attendance throughout, was off at 27-1 with Drayden Van Dyke and paid $7.40 to show.
Racing resumes with a nine-race program on Sunday. First post time is at 12:30 p.m. and admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.
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