11/01/2014 4:03PM

Amaranth holds on to win Sen. Ken Maddy

Emily Shields
Amaranth and jockey Dennis Carr hold off Velvet Mesquite to win the Grade 3 Sen. Ken Maddy on Saturday.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Amaranth led throughout Saturday’s $100,250 Sen. Ken Maddy Stakes for female sprinters at Santa Anita, a race transferred from the hillside turf course to the main track because of overnight rain.

Amaranth ($7.80) gave owner Lindsay Laroche’s Highland Yard stable and trainer O.J. Jauregui their first graded stakes win in the Grade 3 Maddy. The race was the first Santa Anita win for Jauregui.

Ridden by Dennis Carr, Amaranth set a quick pace in the 6 1/2-furlong race of 21.58 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 44.03 for the half-mile. She led by 1 1/2 lengths in early stretch and held off a persistent Velvet Mesquite, the 2-1 favorite, to win by a half-length.

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Fanticola finished third, followed by Warm Breeze, Llaandudno, and On the Backstreets in a field of six.

Amaranth ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.07.

As a result of the transfer in surfaces, Biorhythm, Dutchessa, Gender Agenda, Judy in Disguise, Richies Party Girl, Stars Above Me, and To My Valentine were withdrawn. Ageless was withdrawn in favor of a start in Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint.

By Mr. Greeley, Amaranth has won 4 of 9 starts and earned $178,820. Earlier this year, she won the BetAmerica Oaks at Pleasanton and was second in the Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes at Los Alamitos in July.

The Sen. Ken Maddy was Amaranth’s first start since a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 17. The form of that race has turned out pretty good. Rancho Bernardo winner Judy the Beauty won the BC Filly and Mare Sprint on Saturday.