Although Flores had taken her off the pace in the one mile turf Swingtime Stakes on Oct. 6, he decided a change was in order in the Modesto.
Little Emily, a 4-year-old Kentucky-bred filly by 2004 Santa Anita Derby winner Castledale, carved out fractions of 23.38, 47.58, 1:11.06 and 1:35.06. She paid $13.40, $5.20 and $2.40. With the winner’s share of $31,800, she boosted her earnings to $113,120, from a record of 12-4-
Trained by Melody Conlon and owned by Penley Leonard, Little Emily was previously trained by Leonard’s husband, Robert.
“We had been stabled next to each other at Hollywood Park,” explained Conlon. “They go to New Mexico every winter, so Bob turned the filly over to me right before her race at Pomona (a head victory at Fairplex Park in the Las Madrinas Handicap on Sept. 22). “She showed a lot of speed that day and we knew she could go to the front. They left her alone out there and she ran great. We’ll give her the winter off and bring her back in the spring.”
I Dazzle and Mike Smith finished second, two lengths ahead of 1-2 favorite Camelia Rose and Mario Gutierrez, who never threatened from off the pace.
I Dazzle paid $4.20 and $2.40. Camelia Rose paid $2.10 to show.
Santa Anita will offer a nine-race program on Saturday, highlighted by the Grade III, $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Stakes for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs down the track’s hillside turf course.
First post time is at 1 p.m.