Sassy salutes at Churchill Downs

More Than Ready sired his 128th stakes winner at the Kentucky Oaks meeting when A Little Bit Sassy was successful in the LR Edgewood Stakes (1700m) on turf at Churchill Downs.

The Vinery champion’s daughter defeated front-runner Istanford by a length on Friday.  “I had so much horse and she kept running,” said winning jockey Luis Saez.  “She won so impressive.

“She ran up front at her last two starts because she’s very fast,” Saez said.  “But today, I took her back and she did great.  I got her to relax and she responded in the stretch.”

A Little Bit Sassy (3f More Than Ready – Miss A. Bomb by Lemon Drop Kid) is trained by Michael Matz for owner Ramona Bass after being knocked down for $220,000 at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale.  She is the first foal of a mare who won stakes races at Turfway Park and Presque Isle Downs.

A Little Bit Sassy broker her maiden second-up at Delaware Park last September and was then runner-up in the G2 Chelsea Flower Stakes at Belmont Park.  “She’s just a lovely filly,” said Bass.  “We’ve been excited about her from the beginning.  I fell in love with her at Keeneland and had to have her.”

More Than Ready’s leading filly Room Service was withdrawn from the Kentucky Oaks earlier this week to be reserved for races on turf.

A last-start winner of the G1 Ashland Stakes, she has raced exclusively on turf.  “We brought her to Churchill to see how she would handle the dirt,” trainer Wayne Catalano explained.  “She’s worked OK but not as good as she does on the grass.

“We have some turf races that we want her to run her in and I will set up a schedule with (owners) Gary and Mary West.”

Vinery will stand More Than  Ready for a $66,000 (inc gst) service fee this year.