11/16/2013 5:37PM

Hollywood Park: Arethusa goes from maiden to stakes winner in Sharp Cat

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Benoit & Associates
Arethusa, ridden by Corey Nakatani, goes from last to first in the Sharp Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – When trainer Eoin Harty entered the maiden Arethusa in the $100,250 Sharp Cat Stakes for 2-year-old fillies on Saturday at Betfair Hollywood Park, he was hoping the well-bred filly would run well enough to earn some black type to increase her residual value. But she did a lot better than expected.

Arethusa, last of six through the first half of the 1 1/16-mile race, made an eye-catching move on the far turn and kept on motoring to the wire, recording an 8 1/4-length romp to go from maiden to stakes winner to legitimate contender for next month’s Grade 1 Hollywood Starlet, all in a bit more than 105 seconds.

“I was hoping she’d run well enough to run third,” Harty said shortly after the race. “Every race she’s getting better.”

Arethusa ($23) had run three times previously, all against maidens, and had shown steady improvement, with a third and then a second in her last two starts, both around two turns at Santa Anita. Back home at the track where she regularly trains, Arethusa took a big leap forward, leaving the Bob Baffert-trained duo of Be Proud and Georgia in her wake. Be Proud finished second, nine lengths in front of third-place Saintly Joan, with Georgia, the even-money favorite, fading to fifth in the six-horse field.

Arethusa, under Corey Nakatani, completed 1 1/16 miles on Cushion Track in 1:45.41.

“I knew the distance wouldn’t be a problem,” Harty said. “She’s a super mover.”

Arethusa, a homebred of Darley Stable, is by Horse of the Year A.P. Indy and is out of the Coronado Quest mare Miss Coronado, winner of the Grade 2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park.