06/15/2013 6:19PM

Hollywood Park: Sprouts shows growth in Cinderella Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Sprouts and jockey Mario Gutierrez won the Cinderella Stakes to give trainer Edward Freeman his first stakes win in Southern California.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Sprouts won the first stakes of the year for 2-year-old fillies in Southern California in Saturday’s $100,250 Cinderella, a milestone win for trainer Edward Freeman.

Freeman, 53, won his first stakes in Southern California with Sprouts, who became the first stakes winner for her stallion, Square Eddie.

Ridden by Mario Gutierrez for Paul and Zillah Reddam – the jockey and owners who won the 2012 Kentucky Derby with I’ll Have Another – Sprouts ($8) won the Cinderella by 3 1/2 lengths over Pleasant Miss, a 5-2 shot, with Time for Angie third.

Sprouts was the most experienced filly in the field of six, having finished fifth and first in maiden races for California-breds earlier this spring. The other runners each had started once or were making their first start in the Cinderella.

Sprouts had an ideal trip in the 5 1/2-furlong Cinderella. Breaking from the outside, Sprouts was third for the first quarter-mile, rallied three wide on the turn, and pulled clear in the final furlong.

“You knew on the turn she was winning,” Paul Reddam said.

Sprouts was timed in 1:05.45. On the Backstreets, the even-money favorite, finished fourth. On the Backstreets disputed the pace with Pleasant Miss for the first half-mile before fading and finishing 10 3/4 lengths behind Sprouts. La Madera and Pay the Debt completed the order of finish.

Freeman, who had won stakes at Santa Rosa, Fort Erie, and Birmingham, Ala., said he was confident in Sprouts, considering her win in a maiden race for California-bred fillies May 16.

“Paul asked me before the race, ‘Are you nervous?’ ” Freeman said. “I said, ‘The others should be nervous.’ She’s so tactical. He can take her back, and she can sit.”

The win was worth $60,000 and improved Sprouts’s career earnings to $92,240. Sprouts is a candidate for the $100,000 CTBA Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies over 5 1/2 furlongs at Del Mar on July 19.