RGM Stables LLC’s Sweet Little Lion held on in the stretch among a wall of contenders to win the $100,000 Hollywood Wildcat Stakes in the Summit of Speed at Calder Casino and Race Course on Saturday.
“The race turned out like I thought it would,” said winning jockey Jesus Rios.
The 5-year-old daughter of Red Bullet showed her true colors on the turf after a disappointing off-the-turf performance in the Marizy Doates at Calder.
“She really likes this course,” said winning training Gregory Griffith. “Last time we made a mistake and ran her on the dirt; I should have never done that. Coming up to the race she had been training very nice. We expected a big race from her.”
After pressing the pace for the first half mile, Sweet Little Lion made her move to battle down the stretch with Saint Aggie and Miss Montreal as a wave of horses gained on them.
“I sent her to run two or three lengths at the speed, a slow step. I decided to wait as much as I could until the quarter pole to send my mare to run.”
When asked by Rios, Sweet Little Lion went all out to the wire to hold on to her lead, and boost her record to four wins out of 15 starts, with total career earnings of $135,230.
Sweet Little Lion returned $34.00, $13.20, and $11.00 for the win, while Miss Montreal paid $7.80 and $5.40 as the runner-up. Angelica Zapata brought back $4.80 for third.
Completing the order of finish were Ann of the Dance, Awesome Belle, Celestial Kitten, Saint Aggie, Lexington Pearl, Frolic’s Revenge, and Callmethesqueeze.