12/14/2015 10:58AM

Richies Sweetheart readies for Lightning City

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Matthew Donohue/EQUI-PHOTO
Richies Sweetheart, ridden by E.T. Baird, wins the Turf Amazon Handicap by two lengths in September.

OLDSMAR, Fla. – Richies Sweetheart, who won the $200,000 Turf Amazon Handicap at Parx Racing in September, tuned up for this Saturday’s $100,000 Lightning City Stakes by breezing an easy five furlongs in 1:04 here last Wednesday. The Lightning City is for fillies and mares ages 3 and up and covers five furlongs on turf.

“She should be real tough in there,” said trainer and co-owner Larry Rivelli, adding that he might give the 4-year-old Richies Sweetheart a short blowout a few days prior to the race.

In the Turf Amazon, Richies Sweetheart finished two lengths ahead of runner-up Joya Real, who also is targeting the Lightning City after winning an optional $100,000 claiming turf dash here as the favorite Nov. 28 for trainer Kathleen DeMasi.

Richies Sweetheart has been idle since finishing fifth in an optional $65,000 claimer on the main track at Hawthorne on Oct. 21. The filly has won 4 of 8 starts this year, including a score in the $78,900 Brandywine Stakes on the Indiana Grand turf course in July.

◗ Ishaq breezed an easy six furlongs in 1:18 at Gulfstream Park West on Sunday ahead of this Saturday’s $100,000 Inaugural Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds. Trained by Efren Loza Jr., Ishaq won his career debut, a $23,000 maiden special weight sprint here Nov. 28, by 10 1/4 lengths as the 9-10 favorite.