California-Bred Leggs Galore Shows Her Heels To Buena Vista Foes

Opening up by as much as eight lengths at one point, trainer Phil D’Amato’s speedy California-bred Leggs Galore prevailed by a half length in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Buena Vista Stakes at Santa Anita in Arcadia, Calif.  A William Sims homebred 5-year-old mare by 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern, Leggs Galore was ridden by Ricardo Gonzalez and got one mile on turf in 1:34.29.

In total control throughout, Leggs Galore had a five-length edge at the top of the lane and although she was shortening stride late, held off a big finish from the actual 2-1 favorite Going to Vegas, who was ridden by Flavien Prat.

Fresh off a big 2 ¼-length score going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf on Jan. 15, Leggs Galore was off as the second choice at 2-1 and paid  $6.80, $3.80, $2.80.

In procuring her first-ever graded stakes win, Leggs Galore, who is out of Sims’ Indian Charlie mare Cashing Tickets, Leggs Galore notched her fifth career stakes win and improved her enviable overall mark to 13-8-1-0.  With today’s winner’s share of $120,000, she increased her earnings to $560,208.

“That was a pretty ambitious move (re: Ricky Gonzalez’s move out of the gate and opening up on the field),” said D’Amato.  “I was holding my breath there.  I was just waiting for the wire to be there.  We got it done.  She took another step up.  This was a solid open company field.  She’s a double threat now with Cal-breds and open company.  We’ll see where we go from here.”

Idle since well beaten in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf going a mile and three eighths at Del Mar Nov. 6, Going to Vegas ran huge in defeat, finishing with her ears pinned while three quarters of a length clear of Closing Remarks.

A Grade 1 stakes winner two starts back on Oct. 2, Going to Vegas returned $3.80 and $2.80.

Far back early, the Carla Gaines-trained Closing Remarks put in a solid late bid, finishing three quarters of a length in front of multiple graded stakes winner Mucho Unusual.  Ridden by Joe Bravo, Closing Remarks was off at 4-1 and paid $3.00 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.18, 46.70, 1:10.29 and 1:22.25

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