05/30/2016 5:41PM

Richies Sweetheart beats males in Honor the Hero Stakes

Coady Photography
Richies Sweetheart and jockey E.T. Baird win the Honor the Hero Stakes by 3 1/4 lengths Monday.

You could say it was a case of a girl facing the boys in the $75,000 Honor the Hero Stakes on Monday at Canterbury Park, but the only time Richies Sweetheart’s seven rivals got a look at her face was in the starting gate. The excellent turf sprinter broke like a shot under E.T. Baird and showed the boys her tail the rest of the way, winning by 3 1/4 lengths in an impressive performance.

Mongol Bull was clearly second-best, 3 1/2 lengths in front of Majestic Pride, while the race’s defending champion, El Seventyseven, did little running and finished seventh.

Richies Sweetheart ($6.80) popped out on top and had a length on the field a half-furlong into the Honor the Hero, setting splits of 22.07 seconds and 44.56 on the way to a final time of 56.40 seconds for five furlongs on a “good” turf course.

“We were just looking to get a good break out of the gate,” said Baird, who traveled from Chicago for the mount.

Larry Rivelli trains Richies Sweetheart and owns her in partnership with Vince Foglia’s Patricia’s Hope LLC and Richard Ravin. The 5-year-old Illinois-bred is a daughter of Unusual Heat and the Officer mare Make an Offer. She has an excellent overall record of 28-14-4-1 and is 12-8-0-1 on turf.