By Jim Freer
Lady Lara and Lochte were the winners in Saturday’s Grade 3 turf stakes at a rain-drenched Calder Casino & Race Course, the site of the Gulfstream Park West meet.
Lady Lara beat Hope Cross by 1 1/4 lengths in the $100,000 My Charmer at 1 1/16 miles for fillies and mares 3-yeaes-old and up. The My Charmer was the fourth race, and was run in a light rain.
The rain became heavy several minutes after the My Charmer.
It was a downpour during the sixth race, the $100,000 Tropical Turf at 1 1/16 miles for males 3-years-old and up. Lochte beat Flashlight by four lengths on a course still listed as firm.
Gulfstream, which is running the meet, moved the eighth and tenth races from turf to dirt. Our records show it was the first time races have been taken off turf since the GP West meet’s opening day Oct. 7.
Saturday was the 35th day of the 40-day meet that will end Nov. 28).
(Note: Ten races are scheduled for Gulfstream Park West today, with first post at 12:35 p.m. Five of the races are scheduled for turf.
As of 9:00 a.m., it was not raining at Calder in Miami Gardens and no decision had been announced on whether any races will be taken off the turf. The forecast is for an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms his afternoon. We will monitor and have reports on our blog
Jose Lezcano rode Lady Lara, the 8-5 favorite, who won in 1:43.32 in a light rain on the course listed as firm.
Sandiva finished third, a nose behind Hope Cross. The win was the second in two starts in Florida for the Irish-bred Lady Lara who is trained by Bill Mott.
Last March 29, she beat Sandiva by a neck in the one mile Honey Fox (Grade 2) on the turf at Gulfstream.
Note — the photo on the home page shows Mott and Lezcano with Lady Lara after the My Charmer.
Mott said he expects to run Lady Lara in several turf races at the Gulfstream Park championship meet that will begin Dec. 5.
Lochte, at 3-1, raced in third place most of the race.
He began gaining ground coming around the turn and took the lead a furlong from the finish. He pulled away to win by four lengths over Flashlight.
Lochte won in 1:50.95–a slow time for stakes horses, and it can attributed to the rain.
Matt Rispoli rode Lochte for trainer Marcus Vitali and owner Crossed Sabres Farm. It was Lochte’s third win in a row, all on turf with Rispoli riding.
Lochte won the Mr. Steele at Gulfstream on Sept. 27 and the Spider John at Calder on Oct. 25.
Vitali indicated that he expects to run Lochte in several turf stakes at Gulfstream over the next several months.
–Photos by Lauren King, Gulfstream Park
Lady Lara, Lochte Win Soggy GP West Turf Stakes