01/16/2010 1:00AM

Milestones for Amen Hallelujah, Sutherland


ARCADIA, Calif. - A reduction in distance and an easier field gave Amen Hallelujah her first stakes win in Saturday's at Santa Anita. The victory in the Grade 3 race also was the first in a graded stakes at Santa Anita for jockey Chantal Sutherland.

Sutherland gave Amen Hallelujah an ideal ride in the seven-furlong race. Fourth in a field of six 3-year-old fillies for the first half-mile, Amen Hallelujah ($8.40) closed steadily on the outside to win by three-quarters of a length over Franny Freud.

Switch, who fought for the early lead with She's Funomenal through fractions of 22.89 and 45.24 seconds, held third. She's Funomenal faded to finish fifth.

Sutherland liked the way the race unfolded on the backstretch. "I was loving it," she said. "It all played out the way I hoped it would, and I had horse."

Amen Hallelujah ran seven furlongs in 1:21.39. Owned by IEAH Stables and Whizway Farms and trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., Amen Hallelujah has won 3 of 7 starts and $222,370. She was third in two Grade 1 races last fall, finishing behind Negligee and eventual Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies winner She Be Wild in the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland in October and behind Blind Luck in the Hollywood Starlet Stakes.

Both races were at 1 1/16 miles. Michael Iavarone of IEAH Stables said the cut-back in distance for Amen Hallelujah in the Santa Ynez was the difference on Saturday. He said she may be kept in one-turn races in 2010.