Going To Vegas Holds Off Luck In Rodeo Drive Stakes

Like a casino sending gamblers home empty handed, Going to Vegas refused to let the furious rush of Luck prevail on Saturday in the Grade 1 Rodeo Drive Stakes at Santa Anita Park.

Going to Vegas, a 4-year-old Goldencents filly got out early in the 1 1/4-mile turf race, and quickly got to the rail under jockey Umberto Rispoli, and she crossed over from the downhill course to the main oval ahead of Dogtag on the inside and longshot Neige Blanche on her outside hip.

Going to Vegas held a comfortable 1 1/2-length lead over Neige Blanche after an opening quarter-mile in :24.35 seconds, and she maintained that margin as the field went past the finish for the first time. The top three positions went unchanged as they headed into the backstretch, with Rispoli keeping Going to Vegas under light restraint.

The race started to percolate after the three-quarters mark in 1:13.49, with jockey Flavien Prat starting to rouse Luck from the middle of the field. Luck got up to third place behind Going to Vegas and Neige Blanche heading into the final turn, and she was in second after a mile in 1:36.35.

Rispoli started urging Going to Vegas in the straightaway with a right-handed crop, as they worked to hold off a pair of LNJ Foxwoods-owned runners in ground-saving Dogtag and outside-moving Luck.

Luck was gaining ground on Going to Vegas as the wire approached, but she ran out of time and real estate, finishing a head behind the winner. Stablemate Dogtag carried on for third.

Going to Vegas stopped the clock in 1:58.84 over a fast main track. She paid $4.20 as the post-time favorite.

Richard Baltas trains Going to Vegas for owners Abbondanza Racing, Medallion Racing, and MyRacehorse. Saturday’s victory improved the filly’s record to seven wins in 22 starts for earnings of $634,151.

Bred in Kentucky by J. Kirk and Judy Robison, Going to Vegas is out of the stakes-winning Johannesburg mare Hard to Resist.

To view the Equibase chart, click here.

GRADE 1, $300,000, Rodeo Drive Quotes, Courtesy Santa Anita Park Press Office

UMBERTO RISPOLI, GOING TO VEGAS, WINNER: “When it is a Grade 1, you want to give it your all no matter how many people there are waiting for you when you come back, but this is great. I could hear people screaming and applauding. I was busy because I could feel Flavien was coming. I knew he was coming fast, but we handled pretty well, I’m pretty happy that they decided to get me back on the filly. I credit the owners and Richard as well. She’s a Grade 1 winner now, the next step is a Breeders’ Cup.”

RICHARD BALTAS, GOING TO VEGAS, WINNER: “I’m thrilled with both horse’s performances. Going to Vegas has the tactical speed and loves going a mile and a quarter and she showed it. It was a great ride by (Umberto). My other horse, Luck, really moved up in class. I was really happy with her performance, she really improved in a Grade 1, I’m looking forward to the future with her. We will see how the two horses come out of the race tomorrow, but I feel that both horses are heading to the Breeders’ Cup.”

The post Going To Vegas Holds Off Luck In Rodeo Drive Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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