STICKNEY/CICERO - - If anyone other than SASY MS ELIZABETH, a two-time stakes winner and last-out victor won the $125,000 Pat Whitworth Debutante for two-year-old Illinois-bred fillies, it would be considered an upset. The public saw it that way, making her a strong 4/5 favorite.
And on a clear, cold night at Hawthorne that upset came to fruition. PISTOLS DRAWN and SASY MS ELIZABETH would get to the front in the Whitworth, the two one-two for most of the early stages, with PISTOLS DRAWN stalking off the favorite through sensible early splits of :24.58 (quarter-mile), :48.92 (half-mile), and 1:14.42 (three-quarters). Turning for home, PISTOLS DRAWN started to wilt from the pace pressure she applied to the stretch-out favorite. It left SASY MS ELIZABETH alone in the stretch, attempting to prove she could handle the mile and a sixteenth distance.
But on a track that played well to rally-wide closers all afternoon, it was LAKOTADREAMCATCHER who made a last-to-first rally, catching SASY MS ELIZABETH in deep stretch. Perhaps that distance was just a bit too far. Perhaps the track profile did her in. Perhaps a bit of both. In any case, SASY MS ELIZABETH would be upset. The victor's margin would be extended to a half length at the line with the clock stopped in 1:48.80 for the mile and a sixteenth on a fast dirt. SASY MS ELIZABETH would report home second, three and a quarter lengths to the better of TANGUERAY MISS. PISTOLS DRAWN checked in fourth another four and a quarter lengths behind the top three.
Winning rider Tim Thornton, on the track's in-house feed, felt that LAKOTADREAMCATCHER, “always trained good. She worked like she was a deep closer. She had a couple of rough trips along the way but I still thought she was going to turn out to be a nice filly. I needed every inch I could get. About the eighth pole I thought we had it pretty easy but as we started coming down to the sixteenth pole I wasn’t so sure. But, we did get up in time.”
Winning trainer Dee Poulos told Picks and Ponderings she had an inkling that LAKOTADREAMCATCHER, a two-year-old Illinois-bred filly by Fort Prado wanted to go long. "We put her in some open races and she had some rough trips at six furlongs. But Timmy said to me, "we're going to win a long [two-turn] race. And we wanted her in fresh."
Poulos plans to put LAKOTADREAMCATCHER, who broke her maiden in winning the Whitworth, away for the winter and would pass on out-of-town races for bigger money. "We want to give her time off, some time to grow," said Poulos.
The $2 4-6 exacta of LAKOTADREAMCATCHER and SASY MS ELIZABETH paid $92.80. The fifty-cent 4-6-1 trifecta of LAKOTADREAMCATCHER, SASY MS ELIZABETH, and TANGUERAY MISS returned $93.40. Dime superfectas with PISTOLS DRAWN in the fourth position yielded $52.07.
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