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Spring Style suited by slow pace in Frankel

Report: USA, Saturday

Santa Anita: Robert J Frankel Stakes (Grade 2) 1m1f, turf, 4yo+ f/m

ODDS-ON favourite Harmonious was undone by a pedestrian gallop as she failed by a nose to catch Spring Style (Ben Cecil/Garrett Gomez) in the race renamed in honour of the winningmost trainer in Santa Anita history.

Beverly D winner Éclair De Lune was scratched, leaving Harmonious as 3-10 favourite in a field of four, giving5lb to just three rivals in the former San Gorgonio Handicap.

No-one wanted the lead, however, resulting in a tepid pace by outsider Powerofvoodoo. Spring Style, unplaced in five previous graded stakes and sent off nearly 7-1, sat in second with Harmonious last of four before being forced to move up three wide.

It paid to be closer to the front, though, and Spring Style had enough to hold off the challenge of the favourite, who drifted in the stretch being going down in a tight finish.

Eoghan O'Neill

Eoghan O'Neill: former trainer of Spring Style

  PICTURE: Martin Lynch  

Spring Style is a six-year-old daughter of Pivotal who began her career in Britain trained byEoghan O'Neill.

She recorded a time of 1m51.08 for the 1m1f on firm turf.  "She can get a little lazy if she's up front on her own," said winning trainer Ben Cecil.

"I told Garrett, ‘Just sit right off somebody if you can,' and he rode her perfect."

Also on Saturday

Calder: Stage Door Betty Hcap (Grade 3) 1m½f, dirt, 3yo+ f/m

Calder's top dog Marty Wolfson worked his magic yet again as Toocleverforwords (Luis Saez), a five-year-old making her graded-stakes debut, completed a hat-trick with a one-length victory over outsider Joanie's Catch.

The 3.4-1 winner, a daughter of Arch, will now head for the bright lights of Gulfstream.


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