Ce Ce Runs Down Hard Not To Love In Beholder Mile

Bo Hirsch’s lightly-raced homebred Ce Ce posted the upset over 3-5 favorite Hard Not to Love in Saturday’s Grade 1 Beholder Mile, running her down in the stretch to win by 3 1/4 lengths. The 4-year-old daughter of Elusive Quality, the third choice on the board at 4-1, ran a mile over Santa Anita’s fast main track in 1:37.33. Trained by Mike McCarthy, the filly was ridden to victory by Victor Espinoza.

“Victor was able to keep her face clean,” said McCarthy.  “I’ve always thought she really good. Last spring, I thought she beat any kind.  Unfortunately, she got hurt after the Acorn, which made us take a step back and take some time off. She has come back and hasn’t missed a beat. I can’t thank Bo enough for letting us take our time and pick our spots.”

Breaking from the rail for the first time with the one-eyed Hard Not to Love, jockey Mike Smith had little choice but to send the mare to the lead. She set solid early fractions while pressured by Der Lu: :22.63 and :45.72. Meanwhile, Ce Ce was posted up in fourth position down the backstretch, clocking the leader on the far outside.

Rounding the far turn, Hard Not to Love had a half-length advantage over Ce Ce, but she wasn’t able to maintain it in the stretch. Ce Ce pulled away down the lane to win by 3 1/4 lengths, while Hard Not to Love had to settle for second. Ollie’s Candy finished third.

Bred in Kentucky by her owner, Ce Ce is out of the Grade 1-winning Belong to Me mare Miss Houdini. A winner on debut at Santa Anita in April of her sophomore season, Ce Ce ran second in an allowance before shipping east to try the G1 Acorn. After finishing fourth that day, the filly took eight months away from the races before returning to win an allowance at Santa Anita in mid-February. The Beholder Mile improves her overall record to three wins from five starts for earnings of over $360,000.

“I wanted to make the leader work a little bit at the three eighths, so I let my filly go a little,” said Espinoza. “Down the lane, she was in control. She’s come back better than ever. She ran against some of the best fillies in the world in New York (fourth in the Grade I Acorn at Belmont Park on June ) and she ran just like she ran the other day (when a 4 ¼ length allowance winner going 6 ½ furlongs here Feb. 17.)”

The post Ce Ce Runs Down Hard Not To Love In Beholder Mile appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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