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LONGSHOT BECKY LOU TAKES SANTA ANITA ALLOWANCE FEATURE, BAZE GUIDES JOHANNESBURG FILLY TO NOSE VICTORY IN HER U.S. DEBUT
TW0-DAY PICK SIX CARRYOVER OF $370,763, TOTAL POOL FRIDAY SHOULD EXCEED $1.5 MILLION
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 18, 2013)—Dismissed at odds of 32-1, Becky Lou, with Tyler Baze aboard, was up to win Santa Anita’s allowance feature for 3-year-old fillies by a nose in her U.S. debut, getting a mile on turf in 1:34.41.
Purchased at auction for $103,000 by owner Danny O’Neill, Becky Lou, had been idle since Nov. 3 at Newmarket, England, a minor stakes in which she finished eighth and last, beaten 17 lengths.
Trained by Matt Chew, Becky Lou had a steady series of drills at Santa Anita for her return, including a seven furlong move of 1:29.40 on April 11.
“Matt has been telling me she’s training really good,” said O’Neill, who resides in the East San Francisco Bay Area. “She’s worked three times on the grass, and the last time, she worked awesome.”
Becky Lou, a Kentucky-bred filly by Johannesburg, was attentive to the pace and saved ground at the rail until she swung three-wide turning for home.
“I wasn’t expecting to be that close to the pace, I thought I would be a couple lengths off it,” said Baze. “When I worked her in the morning, she didn’t really seem like she had any speed, but today she broke running.
“I was surprised. When I got her out, she carried me to the line. I thought I had the right (head) bob.”
The longest shot in the field of eight, Becky Lou paid $66.20, $25.40 and $9.60. With the winner’s share of $34,800, Becky Lou nearly quadrupled her earnings to $54,796.
“When you watch her races from Europe, she’s quite a ways off the pace there, so I only assumed that she would be quite a ways off the pace in here too,” said Chew. “I think it looks like she’ll go further.”
Lilbourne Eliza, off at 11-1 with David Flores, sat close to splits of 23.09, 47.52, 1:10.84 and 1:22.62 and came up a nose short in a desperate finish. She paid $12.20 and $7.40.
Macha, the 2-1 second choice with Rafael Bejarano, was well off the pace early and finished third, a length and a half behind Lilbourne Eliza. Macha paid $3.20 to show.
Irish-bred Pussycat Lips, ridden by Garrett Gomez, was the solid 8-5 favorite, but was never a factor and finished seventh.
There is a two-day Pick Six carryover into Friday of $370,763. The total Pick Six pool on Friday is expected to exceed $1.5 million. Friday’s Pick Six will cover races three through eight.
First post time on Friday is at 1 p.m. For additional racing information, visit www.santaanita.com