Lil Kiara Rallies To Capture Spruce Fir Handicap

Sunday, July 17, 2011

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OCEANPORT, N.J. – Smith and Ko-Ko-Mo Stable’s Lil Kiara sat in perfect position early before gaining command in mid-stretch and holding on for a half-length win over Little Stitch in Sunday’s Spruce Fir Handicap at Monmouth Park.

            The final time for the one mile and 70 yards over a fast main track was 1:42 3/5.

            A 4-year-old daughter of Lion Hearted out of the Baederwood mare Lil Magic Twig, Lil Kiara returned $6, $3.80 and $2.60.  Little Stitch, who raced right up on the early pace of :23 1/5 and :48 1/5, held on gamely for second and paid $8.60 and $5.20.  The winning exacta returned $31.60 in the field of seven fillies and mares.  Third-place finisher Ms Glory Be returned $3.

            “Marquez [jockey Carlos H.] knows this horse very well,” said winning trainer Cathal Lynch.  “I was a little worried when she was up close early, but then he got her to settle down.  It all worked according to plan.  We sat just off the speed and when he called on her she came with her run.”

            With the win, Lil Kiara improved her career record to 4-3-4 from 16 lifetime starts.  The winner’s share of the $65,000 purse bumped her lifetime earnings to $246,445.

            Live racing will return to Monmouth Park on Friday, July 22.  As always, the facility will remain open for simulcasting from around the world seven days a week.

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