09/24/2011 6:13PM

Calder: My Pal Chrisy fires in stretch to win Stage Door Betty

Jim Lisa Photos
My Pal Chrisy gets up under Luca Panici to win the $75,000 STage Door Betty at Calder

MIAMI -  Trainer Padarath Lutchman had the choice of running My Pal Chrisy in either the $75,000 Stage Door Betty or the $55,000 Dolly Jo Stakes on Saturday at Calder, having cross entered his 3-year-old filly in both races. And in the end, Lutchman made the right choice.

Lutchman opted to keep My Pal Chrisy in the Stage Door Betty and was rewarded when the former claimer rallied from last under jockey Luca Panici to register a half-length victory over Successful Song in the 1 1/16-mile race.

Pacesetter Diosa Indian finished another two lengths farther back in third, with the odds-on favorite Trip for A.J.  checking in fourth in a scratched-reduced field of five 3- and 4-year-old  fillies.

My Pal Chrisy trailed for the opening six furlongs of the Stage Door Betty, had to steady briefly while lacking room approaching the stretch, altered course to the outside while commencing her rally approaching the eighth pole, then ran down Successful Lady with a strong closing surge. Successful Lady stalked the pace of Diosa Indian and moved well clear at midstretch.

My Pal Chrisy, a daughter of Alex’s Pal, is owned by Tonys Investments LLC and gave Lutchman the first stakes victory of his training career. She completed the distance in 1:47.38 and paid $30.40.

In her only previous two-turn start, My Pal Chrisy finished 10th at Tampa Bay Downs in March.

“I’ve always thought she would go a mile," Lutchman said. "She just wasn’t strong enough when I tried her in the Suncoast at Tampa Bay early this year.”

* Bessie M. found ample room to commence her rally along the inside on the final turn, then eased out and ran down pacesetter Afleet Lass to register a 2 1/4-length decision in the six-furlong Dolly Jo. 

Max Speed came from far back to finish another four lengths farther back in third. Jehan, the 2-1 choice, never factored and was a well-beaten fourth.

Bessie M., a 3-year-old daughter of Medallist, hails from the barn of leading trainer Antonio Sano, who claimed the filly for $25,000 at Gulfstream Park in her 3-year-old debut. Bessie M. was the second of three winners on the card for jockey Daniel Centeno.  She paid $6.60 after completing six furlongs in 1:10.81.