12/12/2015 7:53PM

Bad manners can't prevent Street Fancy from taking Starlet

Benoit & Associates
Street Fancy, ridden by Mike Smith, finishes strong in the stretch to win the Grade 1 Starlet by a length.

CYPRESS, Calif. – The little tantrum Street Fancy threw during warmups before Saturday’s $301,000 Starlet Stakes at Los Alamitos was not a surprise to trainer Phil D’Amato. She did similar things earlier this fall.

The closing kick Street Fancy displayed in the long stretch at Los Alamitos to win the Grade 1 Starlet for 2-year-old fillies was not a surprise to D’Amato. She did the same thing when she finished a fast-closing third in the Desi Arnaz Stakes at Del Mar last month, leaving him optimistic of her chances on Saturday.

Going forward, everyone now knows what Street Fancy can do – her behavior, her ability, and her promise in the 3-year-old filly division in 2016.

Street Fancy ($14.60) won her first stakes in the Starlet, finishing a length in front of Stays in Vegas in a field of nine. Street Fancy ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.42.

Ridden by Mike Smith, Street Fancy raced a few lengths behind pacesetter Pretty N Cool through quick fractions of 22.84 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.73 seconds for a half-mile. Street Fancy was fifth or sixth on the backstretch, but dropped back to seventh on the turn, seeming to have little chance at that point.

Through the stretch, which is slightly longer than a quarter-mile, Street Fancy closed steadily after Smith guided her to the inside.

“I knew she’d come on again,” Smith said as he rode Street Fancy toward the winner’s circle. “She’s learning and we’re learning. If you saw me in the post parade, you’d never think I’d be here right now.”

Smith was off Street Fancy for a few minutes during the post parade.

D’Amato also finished third with 32-1 Sutton’s Smile, who was last of nine to early stretch. Pretty N Cool finished fourth, followed by Treasuring, Patriotic Diamond, Surfside Tiara, Pacific Heat, and Mama’s Sugar.

Pacific Heat was the 2-1 favorite. She was as close as third with a furlong remaining, but faded from contention in the stretch to lose for the first time in her third start.

Street Fancy earned $180,000 for Agave Racing Stable and has won 2 of 3 starts and earned $223,200.

“She has a lot of tenacity and she’s a fighter,” D’Amato said.  “Mike said we haven’t gotten to the bottom of her yet. She’s been a little temperamental. We’ve working with her to get her to relax. We’ve got a Grade 1 filly to work with.”