05/29/2017 2:50PM

Great Lady M. Stakes now Grade 2 after purse increase

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The purse of the Great Lady M. Stakes for female sprinters at Los Alamitos on July 8 has been increased from $150,000 to $200,000, allowing the race to be recognized as a Grade 2 event, according to racing secretary Bob Moreno.

Moreno said the increase took place after recent discussions between the Thoroughbred Owners of California and track management. The increase was announced Sunday.

The track’s original stakes schedule issued earlier this year listed the Great Lady M. as a Grade 3 race worth $150,000; Grade 2 stakes must have a minimum purse of $200,000. Moreno said he was recently in contact with the graded stakes committee about the purse enhancement.

Finest City won the 2016 Great Lady M. Stakes when the race was run in April. Finest City later won the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita last November.

The Great Lady M. is one of three stakes during the Los Alamitos meeting from July 8-16. The Grade 3 Los Alamitos Derby, run for $200,000 at 1 1/8 miles, will be July 15.