7th-Santa Anita, $59,403, Alw (NW1$X)/Opt. Clm ($40,000), 4-13, 3yo/up, f/m, 6 1/2f, 1:17.53, ft.
HARD NOT TO LOVE (f, 3, Hard Spun–Loving Vindication, by Vindication) made good on her ‘TDN Rising Star’-worthy debut victory in Arcadia Feb. 16 with a solid defeat of her elders Saturday. A half-sister to Canadian champion and Queen’s Plate victress Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro) (MGSW & MGISP, $1,509,861), the one-eyed filly was on the outside of a four-horse duel for control through a swift first quarter in :21.83. Taking control as the half went in :45.12, the $400,000 KEESEP grad cruised clear of the field and looked home free with Tiago Pereira motionless in the saddle. Lady Ninja (Majesticperfection) came flying late in the stretch, looking a threat to the winner, but Pereira never moved and Lady Ninja was still a half-length behind at the line. In addition to last term’s GI Kentucky Oaks runner-up and two-time graded winner Wonder Gadot, the winner is a half to Solemn Tribute (Medaglia d’Oro), SW & GSP, $181,234. Dave Anderson of Anderson Farms purchased Loving Vindication for $180,000 at the 2011 Keeneland January Sale and sold her first foal, the aforementioned Solemn Tribute for $385,000 at KEESEP. She produced a Bodemeister colt in 2017, who summoned $300,000 from trainer Catherine Day-Phillips at last year’s Fasig-Tipton October Sale, and a Nyquist filly in 2018. The 14-year-old mare, who is a daughter of GSW & GISP Chimichurri (Elusive Quality), RNA’d for $1.45 million carrying a foal by Curlin at last term’sFasig-Tipton November Sale. Sales history: $400,000 Ylg ’17 KEESEP. Lifetime Record: 2-2-0-0, $67,200. Click for the Equibase.com chart or VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.
O-Mercedes Stables LLC, West Point Thoroughbreds, Scott Dilworth, Dorothy & David Ingordo & Steve Mooney; B-Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. (ON); T-John A. Shirreffs.