08/04/2017 9:15PM

Long Hot Summer dashes home in Daisycutter

Benoit & Associates
Long Hot Summer won the Daisycutter Friday at Del Mar.

DEL MAR, Calif. - Last fall, Long Hot Summer ran poorly in two races, leading to discussions about a potential retirement as a broodmare.

Trainer Phil D’Amato urged owners Joe Scardino and Tony Fanticola to keep Long Hot Summer in training as a 5-year-old in 2017. Friday, Long Hot Summer had her second start of the year in the $93,800 Daisycutter Handicap at Del Mar and won the second stakes of her career.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Long Hot Summer ($8) saved ground throughout the five-furlong turf race and won by a length over even-money favorite Watch This Cat. Long Hot Summer was timed in 56.31 seconds.

Watch This Cat finished a neck in front of 7-1 Bad Ju Ju, who was followed by Anita Partner and Woodacouldadid.

Long Hot Summer, a 5-year-old mare by Street Boss, has won 6 of 16 starts and $409,194. She won the 2014 Generous Portion Stakes for California-bred 2-year-olds at the Del Mar summer meeting.

The Daisycutter was Long Hot Summer’s first win since an optional claimer at five furlongs on turf here last September. She was later fifth in the California Distaff Handicap on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita last October and seventh in an optional claimer at five furlongs on turf here last December, prompting talk of retirement.

“She went sour on me last year, and we couldn’t figure out why,” D’Amato said. “We were considering retiring her. Joe Scardino and Tony Fanticola were gracious. I said, ‘I believe in the filly.”

D’Amato said Long Hot Summer is likely to be retired in coming months to be bred, with a few more starts likely. She was second in the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at a mile on turf at Santa Anita in June 2015, but is more effective in sprints.

In June, Long Hot Summer was a troubled fourth in an optional claimer on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.

“Anything around one turn is up her alley,” D’Amato said. “Hopefully, we can get a few more runs out of her.”