Updated on 09/15/2011 1:28PM

Ayanna wins Moccasin Stakes


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - A return to a sprint, the track at which she trains, and cooler weather proved a winning trifecta for Ayanna, who took over soon after the start and led the rest of the way in the $100,000 * for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday at Hollywood Park.

Ayanna coasted home 3 1/2 lengths in front of Ponche de Leona, who rallied for second, one length in front of Unforgettable R N. Well-fancied runners such as Teresa Ann (ninth) and Happy Michelle (10th) were far back in the field of 12. Ayanna was timed in 1:23.45(CQ) for seven furlongs after setting interior fractions of 22.21 seconds, :45.08, and 1:09.92 for the first six furlongs. Ayanna, the 9-5 favorite, paid $5.80 to win.

After winning once and finishing second twice in sprints, Ayanna stretched out to one mile in the Oak Leaf Stakes at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting. But she stopped badly after a half-mile and was eased. Since that race, Ayanna turned in a pair of best-of-the-morning drills at her Hollywood Park base for trainer Kory Owens.

"The day she shipped over to Santa Anita, it was hot, about 104 degrees," Owens said as dusk started to fall on a 71-degree day at Hollywood Park. "And then she jumped something down the backside. It really jarred her. She wouldn't stride out. It was something in her shoulder. It took her about 10 days to get over it."

Garrett Gomez, who had ridden Ayanna in the Oak Leaf, abandoned ship, choosing Ponche de Leona, on whom Gomez had won Oak Tree's Anoakia Stakes. Mike Smith picked up the mount.

Ayanna, a daughter of In Excess and the Sovereign Dancer mare Dance Play, was bred and is owned by the Triple AAA Ranch(CQ) of Richard Owens, Kory's father. She has now won twice in five starts and could make her next start in next month's Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet, Owens said.


* Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.