Favorites land sprint stakes at Mahoning Valley
Favorites prevailed in a pair of sprint stakes at Mahoning Valley in Ohio on Monday, but there was an unusual outcome in one of them.
The featured $200,000 Steel Valley Sprint produced a non-controversial finish when 2-1 choice Lewys Vaporizer ran seven rival three-year-olds off their feet under Irad Ortiz Jr. Alone on the front end through splits of :22.92 and :45.79, Lewys Vaporizer slowed down considerably in the stretch but still finished 1 1/2 lengths in front after six furlongs in 1:12.05.
Contested on a fast track, the Steel Valley Sprint was the first career stakes win for Lewys Vaporizer, who paid $6 and is owned by V-Leaf Stables and Richard Ravin. He led until the very late stages of last month's $100,000 Perryville at Keeneland as the 9-5 favorite in his stakes debut, but faded to third behind Hebbronville and Bayerd. The latter finished second in the Steel Valley Sprint, 5 1/4 lengths ahead of Hebbronville.
The unusual stakes outcome occurred one race earlier in the $75,000 Mahoning Distaff, a six-furlong dash for fillies and mares. Donita's Ruler and 13-10 favorite Heykittykittykitty finished in a dead heat for the win, 8 1/4 lengths clear of their nearest rival, but Donita's Ruler wound up being disqualified and placed second after carrying out Heykittykittykitty through the final furlong. The jockeys aboard both horses claimed foul against the other, but only one objection was sustained.
This was the fifth career stakes win, but first in open company, for Heykittykittykitty, although the four-year-old finished second in the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) and Winning Colors (G3) earlier this year. The Oklahoma-bred four-year-old is owned by Westrock Stables and trained by Ron Moquett.
Under Ricardo Santana, Heykittykitty finished up in 1:12.51 and paid $4.60.