Baltas Hunting For Grade 1 After Luck’s Impressive Victory In Robert J. Frankel – Horse Racing News

Robert J. Frankel Stakes winner Luck gave jockey Flavien Prat the fourth of his six wins at Santa Anita on Saturday

Ridden confidently, LNJ Foxwoods’ homebred Luck, whose dam is a half sister to the legendary Goldikova, rallied with ferocity leaving the quarter pole and easily took Santa Anita’s Grade 3, $100,000 Robert J. Frankel Stakes on Saturday under Flavien Prat, winning in-hand by 3 ¼ lengths. Trained by Richard Baltas, Luck, a 5-year-old mare by Kitten’s Joy, got 1 1/8 miles on turf listed as “good” in 1:48.26.

Next to last at the rail leaving the clubhouse turn, Luck was unhurried in the run up the backside but Prat stepped on the gas mid-way around the far turn and she wheeled five-deep at the top of the lane en route to easily gaining command a furlong out and providing Prat with his fourth win on New Year’s Day. He would go on to win two more, completing his day with victories aboard As Time Goes By in the G3 La Canada and Riding With Dino in the final race of the day, an allowance/optional claiming event.

Second, beaten a pair of heads in the G3 Red Carpet Handicap and the G1 Rodeo Drive Stakes on Nov. 25 and Oct. 2, Luck, in her fourth stateside start for Baltas, was off as 4-5 favorite in a field of seven older fillies and mares and paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.10 in what was her first graded stakes win. Out of the Caerleon mare Gold Round, Luck is now 8-4-3-0 and with the winner’s share of $60,000, she has earnings of $208,470.

“She’s a very special filly,” said Baltas. “She got beat the last time because of the slow fractions. They weren’t going too fast today, but she ran liked we knew she was capable of running. We are thankful to have a filly this good and thank the ownership of Jaime Roth and LNJ Foxwoods for this great opportunity. … We have to start looking at a Grade 1 race sooner or later for her.”

English-bred Bodhicitta, who sat third early, outdueled multiple G1 winner Mucho Unusual by a nose for second and paid $6.20 and $3.20 with Kent Desormeaux up at 7-1.

Ridden by John Velazquez, Mucho Unusual made the lead very briefly at the furlong pole and just missed the place, while finishing 2 ¾ lengths in front of pacesetter Moraz. Off as the second choice at 3-1, Mucho Unusual paid $2.40 to show.

Fractions on the race were 24.38, 49.26, 1:12.50 and 1:36.71.

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