February 16, 2019 - Santa Anita, Race 1, Msw, USD $55,000, 6F
Hard Not to Love, F, 3, 2016 by Hard Spun
1st Dam: Loving Vindication, by Vindication
2nd Dam: Chimichurri, by Elusive Quality
3rd Dam: Hard Knocker, by Raja Baba
Owner: Mercedes Stables LLC, Scott Dilworth, David & Dorothy Ingordo, Steve Mooney & West Point Thoroughbreds
Breeder: Anderson Farms Ont. Inc. (ON)
Trainer: John A Shirreffs
Hard Not to Love (Hard Spun), a half-sister to last year’s Queen’s Plate winner Wonder Gadot (Medaglia d’Oro), debuted with a front-running three-length victory Saturday at Santa Anita. The 3-1 shot stepped right out to the early lead, zipped through fractions of :21.96, :44.77 and :56.85. She shrugged off the upper-stretch challenge of Flat Out Joy (Flat Out) and was easily the best to the wire, completing the six furlongs in 1:09.58. Favored Over Emphasize(Overanalyze) was third.
Hard Not to Love, who lost an eye to infection as a yearling, was acquired for $400,000 at the 2017 Keeneland September sale. In addition to Canadian champion Wonder Gadot, she is also a half to stakes winner and graded stakes placed Solemn Tribute (Medaglia d’Oro).
Loving Vindication produced a colt by Bodemeister in 2017 and a filly by Nyquist in 2018. Anderson Farms purchased the mare for $180,000 at the 2011 Keeneland January sale and the 14-year-old mare, in foal to Curlin, RNA’d for $1.45 million at last year’s Fasig-Tipton November sale. Her Bodemeister colt sold for $300,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October Yearling Sale.