05/13/2017 8:46PM

Dear Lilly claims second straight stakes win in Vancouver Sun

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David Lopez guides Dear Lilly to a 1 1/4-length win in the Vancouver Sun.

VANCOUVER, British Columbia - Dear Lilly, ridden by David Lopez, proved her first stakes win in the Brighouse Belles here on April 23 was no fluke when she won the $50,000 Vancouver Sun for fillies and mares at Hastings on Saturday. A 7-year-old mare by Graeme Hall, Dear Lilly paid $5.50.

Breaking from the outside post in the seven-horse field, Dear Lilly was in a stalking position while C U At Eau Claire posted a quarter-mile time of 22.13 seconds over a track rated muddy. She was a length behind after a half-mile in 45.06, assumed command on the stretch turn, and was never threatened by Touching Promise, who rallied late to finish second, 1 1/4 lengths behind the winner. Castellani ran evenly while finishing third in the 6 1/2 furlong dash, which went in 1:17.49.

Snuggles, last year’s local Horse of the Year, was sent off as a slight favorite. She trailed early before rallying to finish fourth. Snuggles was making her first start of the year and prior to being loaded was reluctant to approach the starting gate. Her antics caused about a five-minute delay in the start of the race.

Lopez praised Dear Lilly’s effort.

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“She’s such a classy horse and it worked out the way I thought it would,” said Lopez. “She tries every time and I knew once I got her into a good position early she was going to give me everything she had.”

Dear Lilly is trained by Sandi Gann and owned by Glenn Todd. It was her 14th win from 25 starts and brought her career earnings to $224,444.