12/08/2012 6:51PM

Hollywood Park: Garcia steers Lady of Fifty clear of trouble in Bayakoa

Benoit & Associates
Martin Garcia guides Lady of Fifty to her first graded stakes victory in the Grade 2 Bayakoa.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - In the span of a furlong on the first turn and backstretch of Saturday’s $200,000 Bayakoa Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park, Lady of Fifty’s position went from troubled to perfect.

Lady of Fifty was racing just behind the leaders approaching the backstretch when jockey Martin Garcia opted to take her off the pace.

Lady of Fifty steadied briefly before moving to the outside of the front rank of runners.

It may not have been a pretty move, but it was ideal. Lady of Fifty stalked the pace down the backstretch and into the turn, took the lead near the eighth pole and pulled away to win her first graded stakes.

“When I got her outside, she relaxed,” Garcia said of his strategy. “It was perfect.”

Lady of Fifty ($8.80) won by 3 1/4 lengths over 10-1 Open Water.

Inglorious, the winner of the 2011 Queen’s Plate Stakes at Woodbine, finished third in her first start since July. Inglorious was the 5-2 favorite and stalked the pace throughout, eventually finishing 4 1/4 lengths behind Lady of Fifty.

Charm the Maker was fourth, followed by Changethechannel, Willa B Awesome, Class Included, and Madera Castana in the Grade 2 race for fillies and mares. Changethechannel, making her stakes debut, set a pace of 24.08 and 47.71 seconds before fading from contention in the final furlong.

Lady of Fifty ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.36. Garcia said the brief trouble that Lady of Fifty encountered was enhanced because of where it occurred on the track.

“It was right into the turn and that’s why she did that,” Garcia said. “I wanted to get her to the outside.”

Lady of Fifty is 3, a filly by After Market who races for George Todaro and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, a co-owner.

A winner of 6 of 11 starts and $320,000, Lady of Fifty has won four stakes – three at Golden Gate Fields in late 2011 and earlier this year and the minor Palm Springs Handicap at Santa Anita on Nov. 1.