06/15/2013 2:56PM

Arlington Park: La Tia impresses in Lincoln Heritage

Four Footed Fotos
La Tia, under Constantino Roman, wins the Lincoln Heritage Stakes by 3 1/2 lengths Saturday.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. – The Illinois-bred filly La Tia was a good 3-year-old, stepping out of statebred-restricted competition to win the Grade 3 Arlington Oaks and the $153,000 La Lorgnette at Woodbine. But from the appearance of things, she might be even better at 4.

La Tia cruised to a third-level allowance victory May 11 while making her first start of the year, and she just as easily won the $83,400 Lincoln Heritage Stakes for Illinois-breds on Saturday at Arlington in her second race this season.

Leading throughout under Constantino Roman, La Tia turned a two-length lead after three-quarters of a mile into a four-length advantage at the stretch call, prevailing by 3 1/2 lengths over Tipsy while running 1 1/16 miles on yielding turf in 1:44.15. The heavy favorite, La Tia paid $3.20 to win. With a Twist finished third.

La Tia, bred and owned by Salvador Hernandez, did all her best work last year on Polytrack and finished fourth in a division of the Hatoof Stakes while making her only turf start. But the Hatoof was run on a wet course, and trainer Armando de la Cerda, noting La Tia’s pedigree, was unwilling to believe she wouldn’t handle grass.

“You have to have a couple starts to find out if they like the turf or not,” said de la Cerda, a former assistant to several prominent trainers on the Chicago circuit before going out on his own this year. “All her brothers and sisters liked the grass.”

Roman, who called La Tia an easy, responsive ride, said the filly seemed equally adept on Polytrack and turf. But for now, the available local races will keep La Tia, a daughter of City Place and La Adelita, on grass. The Grade 3, $200,000 Modesty Handicap on July 13 works well in terms of timing, de la Cerda said, and from the way La Tia finished Saturday, she will have a decent chance to see out that race’s 1 3/16-mile distance.