Bendable in the winner’s circle for the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes (photo via Los Alamitos Twitter account)
Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith completed a sweep of the weekend stakes Sunday at Los Alamitos, directing Bendable to a gate-to-wire upset over 1-5 favorite Enola Gray in the $ 75,000 Beverly J. Lewis.
Smith, who had earned his fifth Los Alamitos stakes score Saturday in the $ 75,000 E.B. Johnston with 7-10 choice Soi Phet, broke quickly in his first collaboration with Bendable, a 3-year-old Horse Greeley filly, then shook off challenges from 35-1 outsider Everqueen and Enola Gray, who entered unchallenged in three starts vs. California breds, to prevail by 2 ¼ lengths.
Owned by breeder Claiborne Farm and trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella, Bendable completed the six furlongs in 1:08.84 for her third win in four starts. She paid $ 9 and $ 2.40 as the 7-2 second choice in the field of five.
Second in her lone loss in an optional claimer July 27 at Del Mar, Bendable’s $ 45,000 Sunday pushed her earnings to $ 127,000.
“I’ve never ridden her before but I talked to (Mandella) and he told me to ride her like it comes up and let her place herself,” said Smith. “She’s lightly raced and it came easy to her. I was really loaded at the top of the stretch.
“I have a lot of good memories in these silks with Lure and the back-to-back (1992-1993) Breeders’ Cup Mile wins.”
A winner of her previous races by a combined 26 ¼ lengths, Enola Gray came out a step slowly, moved up while in the clear to challenge early in the long stretch, but couldn’t keep pace with Bendable in the final eighth of a mile. The gray daughter of Grazen finished 3 ¼ lengths in front of Everqueen and paid $ 2.10. There was no show wagering.
Uptown Twirl, who won the Surfside Stakes during the Spring meet, and Jade Princess completed the order of finish.
One race before the Lewis, Toews On Ice, who was making his first start since winning the William B. Walker Stakes April 30 at Churchill Downs, broke the track record for six furlongs in defeating four rivals in a $ 51,200 optional claimer.
Trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert for owners Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, the son of Archarcharch won by 4 ¼ lengths as the 11-10 choice and completed the distance in 1:07.79. Thetime bettered the mark of 1:07.92 set by Sacred Ovation Sept. 25, 2015.
The win was the fifth in nine starts for the 3-year-old and increased his bankroll to $ 165,585.
Toews On Ice, who was second behind stablemate Mor Spirit in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity last Dec. 19, was one of three winners on the program for jockey Stewart Elliott, giving him nine victories through the first four days of the Los Angeles County Fair at Los Alamitos meet.
Racing resumes Thursday at Los Alamitos. Post time is 2 p.m.
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