05/02/2014 5:00PM

Edgewood: A Little Bit Sassy stalks and wins

Barbara D. Livingston
Luis Saez guides A Little Bit Sassy to a 1 1/4-length victory over Istanford in the Edgewood Stakes on Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A change in tactics resulted in a change of outcome for A Little Bit Sassy in Friday’s $171,750 Edgewood Stakes at Churchill Downs.

In her prior race, an April 6 allowance at Keeneland, A Little Bit Sassy went to the lead before fading to second. This time she was rated in second, and had more left, pulling away from pacesetting Istanford to win by 1 1/4 lengths.

“I had so much horse and she kept running,” said winning jockey Luis Saez. “She won so impressive.”

A Little Bit Sassy, a 3-year-old daughter of More Than Ready owned by Ramona Bass and trained by Michael Matz, recorded her first stakes victory in the Edgewood. She raced 1 1/16 miles on a firm turf course in 1:42.79, and returned $10.20.

She was also the only horse in the field of nine to race without the anti-bleeding medication Lasix.

Istanford, who raced uncontested on the lead with splits of 24.06 seconds, 48.44, and 1:13.14, held second by a neck over Little Journey, with V V Goodnight another neck back in fourth.

Istanford’s jockey, Javier Castellano, said, “We got beat by a better horse today.”

The 2-1 favorite Candy Kitty weakened to eighth after stalking the leaders.

Her defeat was the third poor race on the Kentucky Oaks undercard by a well-backed Todd Pletcher-trained runner, following Unlimited Budget’s fifth-place finish in the La Troienne and Our Amazing Rose’s sixth in the Eight Belles.