02/14/2015 4:43PM

Awesome Flower stalks to victory in Wayward Lass

John Duca/SV Photography
Awesome Flower wins the Wayward Lass Stakes by a half-length Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – Awesome Flower stalked the pacesetter Swinger’s Party for six furlongs, then out-gamed that one through a long stretch drive to come away with a hard-earned half-length victory in the 31st running of the $50,000 Wayward Lass Stakes.

Awesome Flower, the 7-5 choice in a field of seven older fillies and mares, shadowed the pacesetter as Swinger’s Party cut out early fractions of 48.48 seconds and 1:12.52, then went up outside to challenge for the lead leaving the second turn.Through the stretch, Awesome Flower and Swinger’s Party raced as a team before Awesome Flower gained a short advantage inside the final furlong. Swinger’s Party refused to fold and hung tough inside while Elusive Fate and Victor Lebron were slowly gaining ground three wide, but at the wire, Awesome Flower prevailed with Elusive Fate getting up in the final strides to gain the place over Swinger’s Party.

Awesome Flower, trained by Michael Maker and ridden by Fernando De La Cruz, returned $4.80 while scoring her 10th career win. The $30,000 winner’s share of the Wayward Lass raised Awesome Flower’s career earnings over the $500,000 mark ($503,343).

The final time for 1 1/16 miles over a fast main track was 1:43.87.