All Smiles For Mirth - Little Red Feather Race Recap (12.30.19)
Posted by Billy Koch on December 30, 2019
Although Santa Anita opened its doors a couple days later than usual, LRF picked up right where it left off... with another Graded Stakes victory on the final racing weekend of 2019.
After a sixth place finish in the GI $2M Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, GI winner Mirth closed out the year with another Graded Stakes win in the G3 $100,000 Robert J Frankel Stakes at Santa Anita.
Ridden by HOF Mike Smith - who later in the day would become the all time leader in GI victories, Mirth showed a new dimension in the Frankel. Unlike her two previous efforts in the Breeders' Cup and the GI Rodeo Drive Stakes, Smith took Mirth off the pace last Saturday. Mirth rallied from the back of the pack to take a short lead but lost that lead to stablemate Tiny Tina with about a sixteenth of a mile to go. Then, in the blink of an eye, Mirth re-rallied along the inside, showing her heart and determination, to battle back for a nose victory (race replay).
Mirth increased her career earnings to $395,563 with the hard fought victory. Congratulations to all the LRF Partners and trainer Phil D'Amato for a job well done. Look for Mirth to return to the races in the GII $200,000 Santa Ana Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday, March 28.
On Sunday at Aqueduct, Charlie McCoy made his second start off a long layoff for co-owner, breeder, and trainer Michelle Nevin. The 4yo NY Bred son of Bluegrass Cat turned in an excellent second place effort against open allowance company, earning an 89 Beyer Speed Figure in the process. Ridden by Manny Franco, Charlie McCoy - a half brother to recent stakes winner My Boy Tate - settled just off the pace in the seven furlong dash, took the lead at the top of the stretch, but could not hold off the improving The Caretaker and had to settle for second (race replay, click December 29, Race 7). Charlie McCoy will make his 2020 debut in a similar spot towards the end of January.
Back at Santa Anita on Sunday, Lady Timmy Ho (IRE) looked to build on her U.S. debut where she was a fast closing third at Del Mar. Sent off as the second choice in the wagering and ridden by Drayden Van Dyke, the Richie Baltas trained 2yo Kodiac (GB) filly never got on track and failed to threaten (race replay). Euro bounce? Perhaps. We know she is more talented than what we witnessed over the weekend and we have great faith that Richie and his team will get her back on track when she makes her 2020 debut as a 3yo towards the end of January.
In the very last race of 2019 at Santa Anita, Shandling made his third career start - his first against winners - for trainer Phil D'Amato. The 3yo son of Distorted Humor broke his maiden in wire to wire fashion last fall at Del Mar and was ridden once again by Geovanni Franco. After some bumping at the start, Shandling wound up dueling for the lead and faded in the lane in the five and half furlong turf allowance dash (race replay). Look for a better effort and possible surface and/or distance change for Shandling when he makes his 2020 debut towards the end of January.
What an incredible 2019 it has been for LRF and all of the LRF Partners. LRF set new marks for earnings with over $2.7M and wins with 34! These gaudy numbers are a tribute to everyone associated with our partnership; the trainers, grooms, vets, hotwalkers, exercise riders, jockeys, and especially our horses and our partners. We are extremely thankful for the tireless work, dedication, and support and we're looking forward to a fantastic 2020!
Happy New Year!
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