07/07/2013 5:12PM

Hollywood Park: Need You Now prevails in Le Cle Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Need You Now, ridden by Julien Leparoux, won the Le Cle Stakes by 2 3/4 lengths Sunday.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – No blinkers were no problem for Need You Now in Sunday’s $73,850 Le Cle Stakes at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Racing without the headgear for the first time since last autumn, Need You Now won her first stakes in the United States in the one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Ridden by Julien Leparoux for his father-in-law, Mike Mitchell, Need You Now ($4.80) stalked pacesetter Wednesday to early stretch and pulled clear in the final furlong to win by 2 3/4 lengths. Sent off as the favorite in a field of six, Need You Now was timed in 1:34.76.

Need You Now tracked Wednesday on the backstretch through fractions of 23.04 and 46.50 seconds before moving within a length of the leader on the turn. She was well-placed throughout the race.

“She was on the bit, and that was good because [Wednesday] would have been all by herself,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said Need You Now has been more relaxed in recent weeks without blinkers. “We saw it in her training,” he said.

Redressthebalance, a 23-1 outsider, closed from fifth to finish second, a length in front of Judy In Disguise. Wednesday finished fourth, followed by Travesura and Lady Rosamund.

Need You Now, an Irish-bred filly by the Green Desert stallion Kheleyf, has won 3 of 7 starts and $75,844. She was purchased last fall for about $246,000 at the Tattersalls autumn sale of horses in training in England and races for Anthony Fanticola and Joe Scardino.

Last fall, in her final start in England, Need You Now won the minor Radley Stakes at Newbury. Mitchell said Sunday’s win will lead to a start on turf at Del Mar, possibly in the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks at 1 1/8 miles Aug. 17.

“I think she can run all day,” Mitchell said.