OCEANPORT, N.J. –
Little Kiara, a homebred for Smith and Ko-Ko-Mo Stables, unleashed a furious
rally down the stretch to capture the $60,000 Open Mind Handicap at Monmouth Park on Saturday by a nose.
Sent off at 7-1 in
the field of eight New Jersey-bred fillies and mares, Little Kiara covered the
six furlongs over a fast main track in 1:10 3/5 and returned $16.60, $6.40 and
$4. Emily Allstar completed the $61.40
exacta and paid $4.80 and $3.20. It was
another half-length back to Salad Girl, who paid $3.20 to show. Post time
favorite Little Stitch was among the early pace setters but faded in the lane.
“I was on her when
she broke her maiden here a few years back,” said winning jockey Carlos H.
Marquez Jr. “It’s nice to see she’s
still running hard. There seemed to be a lot of speed in the race and
especially coming from longer races, I thought she’d be rallying late. We were
able to get there just in time.”
“The more speed
that entered the race, the more inclined we were to run,” said winning trainer
owner Bo Smith. “There were some very fast fillies in this race; they had
proven themselves in the past. There was some indecision on our end about
running in this spot but she proved us right. We thought if she could be close
at the top of the stretch she would be able to run them down coming out of
longer races and that’s exactly what she did. She’s just a gutsy filly that
always gives her all.”
score was the sixth win in 22 starts for Little Kiara, who won her second
straight race. The 5-year-old mare by
Lion Hearted from the Baederwood mare Lil Magic Twig has now banked $326,545
for her connections.
continues at Monmouth
Park on Friday, June 8,
2012 – gates open 11:30 a.m., first post 12:45 p.m.