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QUISISANA EXTENDS WIN STREAK IN PREP FOR GR. III LAS FLORES HANDICAP
ARCADIA, Calif. (March 10, 2010) – Following a nose victory in the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Sprint on Jan. 30, Quisisana extended her winning streak to three Wednesday when overtaking game longshot Hallelujah Trail by one length in Santa Anita’s $62,940 allowance feature for fillies and mares at six furlongs.
With the meet’s leading rider, Rafael Bejarano, at the controls, the 5-year-old daughter of Decarchy rallied from third in the field of six to win going away in the race that served as a prep for the Grade III, $100,000 Las Flores Handicap at 6 ½ furlongs on April 4.
The only California-bred in the lineup, Quisisana ran the six furlongs in 1:08.61. Trained by Mike Puype for Ran Jan Racing, she furthered her consistency with her sixth victory in 11 career starts while never having finished worse than fourth.
“We had a nice trip, and this mare is improving every time she starts,” said Bejarano in the winner’s circle. “Today, I thought we were maybe the second speed in the race, but I decided not to send her. I really like this mare because you can do whatever you want with her.”
As the second choice, Quisisana paid $7, $4 and $2.40. Hallelujah Trail, who bettered even-money favorite Free Flying Soul by 1 ½ lengths for the place, returned $16.60 and $5 while dismissed at odds of 22-1. Free Flying Soul paid $2.10 to show.
On paper, Free Flying Soul appeared as if she might gain an uncontested lead. In her previous start, Free Flying Soul dueled for the lead throughout the Grade I Santa Monica Handicap before grudgingly giving way to finish third.
But Hallelujah Trail, making her first start for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer following three straight wins at Golden Gate Fields, got the jump on the favorite under the urging of jockey Martin Garcia.
Free Flying Soul, with Mike Smith aboard, pulled even with the leader while straightening away into the stretch, but never could get past her. Meantime, Quisisana kicked into high gear on the extreme outside.
“We were able to follow the favorite, and my mare just ran great,” said Bejarano. The winning purse of $41,340 boosted Quisisana’s career earnings to $317,098 from an overall record of 6-1-2 in her 11 races.
Racing continues on Thursday at Santa Anita with an eight-race program that gets underway at 1 p.m.