11/21/2015 4:42PM

Justalittlesmoke turns back Lady Buckeye in First Lady

Conrad Photography
Justalittlesmoke, ridden by Terry Houghton, prevails by a length over Buckeye Lady as the 1-9 favorite in the First Lady.

Justalittlesmoke, sent off as the 1-9 favorite, had to work harder than expected to put away previously unbeaten Lady Buckeye in Saturday’s $75,000 First Lady Stakes for Ohio-bred 3-year-old fillies at Mahoning Valley Race Course.

Justalittlesmoke ($2.20) took over the lead from pacesetting stablemate Something Nice at the top of the stretch after slow early fractions of 23.95 and 48.25 seconds. Lady Buckeye, making her stakes debut after winning her first three starts, got within a half-length at the eighth pole, but Justalittlesmoke fought off the challenge and scored by a length, completing six furlongs in 1:14.74.

Lady Buckeye was clearly second best, finishing 5 1/2 lengths clear of Something Nice in the six-horse field.

“This filly is just so strong and determined," said winning rider Terry Houghton. "I was a bit surprised when the number 1 horse [Lady Buckeye] made a move at us in the stretch after we had taken over the lead, but she is such a competitor that when I asked her, she responded and gave me more than enough to get the job done.”

It was the fourth stakes win this season for Justalittlesmoke, trained by Bob Gorham for his sister, Marion, who purchased her as a yearling for just $22,500. She is 4 for 4 this season at Mahoning Valley and 7 for 13 lifetime.

Ebby wins second straight stakes in Glacial Princess

Just as they did in the Emerald Necklace three weeks ago, Ebby and Glorious Sunset finished one-two in the $75,000 Glacial Princess for Ohio-accredited 2-year-old fillies.

This time, Ebby ($4.40) scored by three-quarters of a length over 9-5 second choice Glorious Sunset. Ridden by John McKee for trainer Bill Cowans, Ebby ran six furlongs in 1:16.63 for her second win in three starts.