Updated on 09/17/2011 8:34PM

Dansetta Light wins hard-fought Oaks

Email
Skip Smith
Dansetta Light (inside) wins the $100,000 Tropical Park Oaks at Calder on Saturday, Grand Slam III day.

MIAMI - Dansetta Light, given a perfect trip by John Velazquez, turned back several strong challenges in deep stretch to score a hard-earned victory Saturday in the $100,000 on the Grand Slam III program at Calder Race Course.

Bred and owned by J D Farms and trained locally by David Brownlee, Dansetta Light returned $6.60 as second choice in a field of 11 3-year-old fillies. Dynamite Lass finished a neck back in second, while Silver Stage was another neck behind the runner-up and just another nose ahead of favored Rich in Spirit.

"She's a class act, this filly," said Brownlee. "The good thing about her is she can go to the front if she needs to, or come from off it. Johnny rode her perfect today."

Lurking just off an early pace set by 18-1 shot Silver Stage, Dansetta Light tipped out for the drive, then was put to heavy urging to hold off a sustained run from Dynamite Lass.

"She started hanging coming down the lane with that horse inside of me," said Velazquez. "But when the horse on the outside came, she got to it."

Brownlee, who won the Sunshine Millions Distaff at Gulfstream Park last January with Secret Request at 74-1, said he would have preferred to run Dansetta Light, a Florida-bred daughter of Colony Light, back in that rich series, which will be held for the third time Jan. 29 at Gulfstream and Santa Anita, but that the only race for 3-year-old fillies is a dirt sprint.

"We'll look instead at the Gaily Gaily and Herecomesthebride," he said.

Dansetta Light finished 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.06 over a good course. It was her fourth stakes win, and fifth overall from 10 starts.

Brazilian, one of the betting favorites, was a late scratch after acting up in the paddock. All wagers on Brazilian in the pick four wager, which was guaranteed at $250,000, were automatically transferred to the post-time favorite, Rich in Spirit, who ran fourth.

Bailey finds seams and Personal Legend wins

It took a few twists and turns from Jerry Bailey, but Personal Legend got the job done when she squeezed through rivals in deep stretch to win the $100,000 as the 6-5 favorite.

Personal Legend had only one of six rivals beaten leaving the backstretch of the 1 1/16-mile Stage Door Betty, then had to maneuver through traffic before finishing three-quarters of a length ahead of runner-up Pampered Princess. Shady Woman finished third, another 1 1/4 lengths back, with Redoubled Miss fourth and Passing Shot, the 5-2 second choice, fading to last.

"I was calm, but every time you do that, you know you could eat 'em," said Bailey. "More times than not, you're going to find a seam, especially if you have enough horse - and I thought I had the horse."

Personal Legend, a 5-year-old Awesome Again mare owned by Edmund Gann and trained by Bobby Frankel, returned $4.40 and ran the 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.12 over a fast main track. The win was her sixth from 18 starts and second in a stakes.

Happy New Year: Lady in Pink pays $20.40

Lady in Pink led all the way under Manny Cruz to post a surprisingly easy 2 1/2-length victory in the $50,000 Happy New Year, the finale of the Grand Slam series.

Lady in Pink ($20.40), owned by Mike Sherman and trained by Angel Salinas, was never seriously threatened, finishing five furlongs in 56.43 seconds over the turf. Running Bobcats finished second and Glittering Tax ran third.

Elke, the 4-5 favorite in the field of nine 3-year-old fillies, attended the pace but then attempted to bolt on the turn and quickly faded.

* The payoff for a winning $1 ticket in the guaranteed pick four was $1,343.80. The winning numbers were 11-3-3-4. The total pool was $321,872.