Lady of Fifty put in a big performance to win her ticket for the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. (Photos courtesy Benoit & Associates)
Lady of Fifty was largely overlooked in a field for the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes that included Grade 1 winners Include Me Out and Byrama among a deep, talented nine-horse field.
After unleashing an explosive late burst of speed to rally from eighth to first for her first career Grade 1 win, Lady of Fifty probably will not be overlooked again in the near future.
The 4-year-old After Market filly entered the Clement Hirsch off a third-place finish to Byrama in the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 15 on the synthetic surface at Hollywood Park.
Lady of Fifty had a strong career resume on synthetic tracks with four wins, one second and three thirds on them in her career. She figured to be tough in Saturday’s 1 1/16-mile race on Del Mar’s all-weather surface but was sent off at 10.60-1 odds.
Nakatani reserved her near the back of the field early but she had plenty of gas in the tank when she launched her winning bid on the final turn. She swept into the contention on the turn, inhaled seven opponents in the final quarter mile and pulled away to win by 1 ½ lengths.
“I felt a little bit funny about Lady of Fifty being back so far [early on],” said winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, who banked his first Grade 1 win at Del Mar. “When she came into the lane and was getting equal with them, I thought she’d have a chance of running them down and she did. It’s one of the best races she’s run.”
Hall of Fame trainer Hollendorfer co-owns Lady of Fifty with George Todoro. She earned a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic with the Clement Hirsch win, which is part of the Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge series.
Lady of Fifty’s lone previous graded stakes win came in the Grade 2 Bayakoa Handicap in December 2012. The Clement Hirsch was her sixth lifetime stakes win and boosted her career record to seven wins from 16 starts.
“This [victory] is a tribute to Jerry [Hollendorfer] and his staff,” Nakatani said. “They’ve done a wonderful job with her. She’s been training really good and I had a lot of confidence riding her today.”
For an Equibase chart, click here.
LADY OF FIFTY RETURNS TO THE WINNER'S CIRCLE AFTER HER WIN