Lucky Folie steals Desi Arnaz on the front end
The Richard Mandella-trained juvenile miss employed unusual tactics in earning her first stakes victory. Lucky Folie gunned straight for the front when the gates opened and pulled away to a sizeable lead down the backstretch as jockey Gary Stevens visibly tried to wrestle her into slowing down.
Lucky Folie wasn’t having any of that and proceeded through a swift half-mile in :22.48 and :44.99. Treasuring and 3-5 favorite Pretty N Cool, meanwhile, chased in second and began making up ground rounding the turn. The duo split, with Treasuring taking the rail route and Pretty N Cool going wide to conduct her stretch run down the center of the track.
Still, Lucky Folie refused to give up and dug in as the pair challenged. The Distorted Humor filly found just enough to reach the wire first, a half-length up on Treasure to her inside while the fast-closing pair of Street Fancy and Surfside Tiara finished another nose and half-length back in third and fourth, respectively.
Jockey Martin Garcia didn’t persevere with Pretty N Cool once it became clear she had nothing in the stretch, letting the dual Grade 2 winner glide across the wire under her own power in last.
Lucky Folie was cutting back to seven furlongs in the Desi Arnaz, which she finished in 1:23.86 over the fast main track, after finishing second as the pacesetter in the Surfer Girl S. going a mile on the grass at Santa Anita Park. The two-year-old lass was disqualified to third in that event after drifting at the sixteenth-pole, one race after opening her career with a 2 1/4-length score going 5 1/2 furlongs on the main track at Del Mar.
The Wertheimer & Frere Kentucky-homebred is out of Grade 3-placed stakes winner Lucky Copy and comes from the same female family as 1990 Arlington Million (G1) and 1991 Japan Cup hero Golden Pheasant.
Lucky Folie photo courtesy of Benoit Photos
DESI ARNAZ QUOTES
GARY STEVENS (Lucky Folie, winner)
“She’s super quick; she fooled me. I thought I had it under control early; I thought maybe it was going to be a Beholder thing. But then I thought maybe I didn’t. I knew those two fillies outside me were fast, but I couldn’t hear them (because he was so far ahead). Then when we got to the quarter pole I thought I was going to be out of horse. I thought they were going to run by me. But she heard those other two coming up and her ears went up and she came on again. I can fix this for next time. She’s a good one.”
VICTOR ESPINOZA (Treasuring, second)
“It was a good pace and I was catching up at the end. Almost.”
MIKE SMITH (Street Fancy, third)
“Good try for her. They ran fast.”
MARTIN GARCIA (Pretty N Cool, fifth)
“She came back OK, I think. She just didn’t have it today.”
RICHARD MANDELLA (Lucky Folie, winner)
“I didn’t think she’d be that quick (early) coming out of a mile race. She’s so quiet I didn’t think she’d be that aggressive but she sure was. And it turned out pretty good.”