Second time under the Oaklawn Mistletoe evoked a seasonal greeting for Lovely Ride.
A tiring third in the inaugural race last December, the 4-year-old bay filly wired the six-horse field Saturday for a 3 1/2-length victory in the $150,000 stake for older females. Giving jockey Cristian Torres his fourth win on the card and trainer Robertino Diodoro his second, Lovely Ride "rated kindly," the chart said, for her sixth win from 14 starts but first of the year.
Coach, Jan. 8 winner of the $150,000 Pippin at Oaklawn for Brad Cox, was second. Will's Secret, a two-time Oaklawn stakes winner in 2021 for late Arkansas owner Willis Horton and trainer Dallas Stewart, now trained by Hall of Famer Wayne Lukas, placed third.
Fourth, as 7-5 favorite, was Chilean-born mare Le Da Vida, seeking her third North American victory for trainer Ignacio Correas IV.
Lovely Ride, daughter of the undefeated Candy Ride, came off a Grade 3 August race in Canada, her third since Diodoro replaced Bret Calhoun as trainer. Her most recent win came last Dec. 27 for Calhoun in the $75,000 Pago Hop on turf at Fair Grounds. She paid $11.40, $5 and $3.20.
Obviously talented on dirt (wet though it was Saturday) or grass, Lovely Ride has earned more than $415,000 with $90,000 from the Mistletoe. If she stays here, a matchup against Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks winner Secret Oath, a three-time Oaklawn winner and third in the last G1 Arkansas Derby against males for Lukas, could be forthcoming.
Her mile over a sloppy/sealed track in 1:39.77, Lovely Ride lived up to her three local works, two five-furlong bullets included. Seal this effort with a kiss.