Jockey Corey Lanerie was named to replace Rene Douglas in late afternoon and then guided the daughter of little-known Cloud Hopping to a narrow victory in the 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies.
After riding Aegean to victory in the first race, Douglas took off his mounts following the fourth race when he became nauseated.
Stardom Bound, last year’s 2-year-old filly champion who was seeking a sixth consecutive Grade 1 win, rallied from last place in the nine-horse field but had to settle for third, almost three lengths behind the winner.
“I’m at a loss for words, really. It certainly wasn’t her A game,” said jockey Mike Smith. “She got away slow, but she always does. Actually it (the pace) was good for her. They were going slow, but she’s closed on a slow pace before.”
Gozzip Girl, winner of the Herecomesthebride (G3) at Gulfstream Park in her last start, mounted a serious challenge in the stretch, finishing a neck behind Hooh Why and 2 ¾ lengths in front of Stardom Bound.
Hooh Why ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.80 and avenged a neck loss to Stardom Bound last time out in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks on March 7 at Santa Anita. She earned $248,000 for owners Derby Daze Farms and Mark Hoffman.
Albarado rode Hooh Why in the Santa Anita Oaks but chose to ride Nan in the Ashland. “He (Albarado) told me I’d love her and I surely did,” continued Lanerie. “I was able to watch a replay of her last race. It looked like she ran a good race and just missed. I thought she had every chance in the world to get there (in the Ashland).”
It was the first Grade 1 victory for Lanerie and only the second career stakes win for trainer Donna Dupuy. With the exception of a race on dirt at
Tampa Bay Downs in December, Hooh Why has raced exclusively on synthetic surfaces at Arlington Park, Presque Isle Downs, Woodbine and Santa Anita.
The winner, the second longest price in the field, paid $50, $15.40 and $6.20. Gozzip Girl, ridden by Miguel Mena, returned $8.80 and $4.20 and Stardom Bound, the 7-10 favorite, paid $2.10.
Be Fair finished fourth followed by Nan, Boleyn, Dream Empress, Third Dawn and the previously undefeated What a Pear. It was third win in 10 career starts for Hooh Why, who increased her career earnings to $441,335.