Horseracing

Awesome Baby leads every step in Santa Ynez at Santa Anita

Awesome Baby (3), with Mike Smith
Awesome Baby, with Mike Smith aboard, wins the Santa Ynez Stakes.
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ARCADIA, Calif. (AP)

Awesome Baby led all the way in a half-length victory Saturday at Santa Anita in the $200,000 Santa Ynez Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

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Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Awesome Baby ran six furlongs in 1:16.62 and paid $12.60 to win in a four-horse field. Taste Like Candy was second. Crushed Velvet, the 4-5 favorite, was third. Hall of Famer Bob Baffert trains both Awesome Baby and Crushed Velvet.

The victory, worth $120,000, increased Awesome Baby's career earnings to $170,250 with two wins in four starts.

''She ran dynamite,'' Smith said. ''She broke really well, was well in hand until I needed to ask her, and I just showed her the whip and she kept running.''

In the $75,000 Midnight Lute Stakes, Smith rode Cyclometer to victory by three-quarters of a length. Trained, owned and bred by Bruce Headley, Cyclometer ran six furlongs in 1:08.95 and paid $5.20.

''It was a little eventful leaving the gate,'' Smith said. ''A horse acted up and my horse rocked back a bit so we spotted everyone a jump at the start. I still got away in good order. Cyclometer was really on his game. In the stretch, I could only mess it up at that point. I just kept hand-riding him, and it was working.''

Moonshine Bay was second, and Anillo was another length back in third. Even-money favorite Midnight Transfer was last in the four-horse field.

The victory, worth $59,700, increased Cyclometer's career earnings to $330,254, with five wins in 17 starts.

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