Sweet Loretta, Pretty City Dancer produce first ever Spinaway dead heat

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September 3rd, 2016

The historic Spinaway (G1) at Saratoga, first run in 1881 and having its 125th edition on Saturday, recorded its first ever dead heat when two daughters of Tapit, Sweet Loretta and Pretty City Dancer, reached the wire together after seven furlongs.

The outcome was briefly more suspenseful as the stewards looked into the stretch run. Although Sweet Loretta bore out a little in mid-stretch and both she and Pretty City Dancer bumped close to the wire, the dead heat was allowed to stand. Even-money favorite Cherry Lodge was 5 3/4 lengths behind in third.

The final time of 1:24.18 over a fast track was accomplished after Cherry Lodge and Runway Doll traded leads through splits of :22.89 and :45.81. Sweet Loretta, under Javier Castellano, saved ground early, swung wide in the stretch in order to pass the tiring pacesetters, and was nearly run down by Pretty City Dancer, with Irad Ortiz Jr. up, after opening up a 1 1/2-length margin with a furlong to go.

"The last part of the race I knew she was going to get tired a little bit," Castellano said. "I hit her left-handed and she drifted just a little bit, and the other filly came over and brushed up a little bit right on the wire."
Said Ortiz: "Late in the stretch I felt a little bump, but we still won the race so there's nothing wrong with that. Her style is to come running at the end."

Sweet Loretta and Pretty City Dancer each earned $140,000 of the $350,000 purse as well an automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) at Santa Anita in November.

The 7-2 second choice, Sweet Loretta returned $4.90, while Pretty City Dancer paid $5.60 after going off at 9-2.

Sweet Loretta remains undefeated after three starts for St Elias Stable and trainer Todd Pletcher. After opening her account with a seven-length score at Monmouth Park on June 18, she returned to take the Schuylerville (G3) by more than four lengths on July 22.

Out of the stakes-placed Bluegrass Cat mare Ithinkisawapudycat, Sweet Loretta is from the family of Canadian champion Spring in the Air and Grade 2 scorers Tejano Run and More Royal.

Pretty City Dancer is now three-for-four. Third in her May 5 debut at Churchill Downs for owner John Oxley and trainer Mark Casse, she came back to break her maiden over the same track on May 27 and then captured the $100,000 Debutante under the Twin Spires by more than three lengths on July 2.

Pretty City Dancer is a half-sister to Grade 1 Lear's Princess and is out of Pretty City, a Carson City half-sister to Grade 1 winner My Big Boy.