08/06/2016 6:59PM

Lady Lara wins De La Rose while in foal


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. --  Lady Lara, who is in foal to Uncle Mo, closed out her racing career in high style, rallying up the rail to a one-length victory over Stormy Victoria in the $100,000 De La Rose to close out Saturday’s outstanding Whitney Day program at Saratoga.

Lady Lara benefited from a perfectly judged, ground-saving ride by Jose Lezcano, who placed her along the inside and within easy striking distance off a relatively leisurely pace set by Mayla in the one-mile De La Rose. Lady Lara found ample room to launch her bid turning into the stretch, quickly accelerated to move clear in early stretch, then easily withstood a final surge from Stormy Victoria. Zindaya outlasted her stablemate, the 9-5 favorite Roca Rojo who was trapped in traffic much of the way, by a neck to be third.

Lady Lara, an Irish-bred daughter of Excellent Ari, is trained by Bill Mott for owner Ben Sangster. She completed the distance over a firm course in 1:35.88 and paid $8.40. A multiple graded stakes winner, she’ll end her career with six victories in 26 starts and earnings of $781,203.                                                                                            

“It’s not uncommon for a filly to race in foal,” said Mott. “If everything wasn’t going right, we wouldn’t have run her. But actually she’s blossomed since she’s been pregnant. She’s been working faster and she seems stronger. I guess they get some kind of endorphine rush from being pregnant. Maybe it’s not for all of them, but it worked out well for her.”

Mott was quick to praise Lezcano for the trip he orchestrated for Lady Lara.

“It’s kind of unspoken, trying to save ground in these races,” said Mott. “And that’s one thing about Jose, he’s not afraid to stay on the inside and take a chance.”