03/11/2012 8:13PM

Santa Anita: Ex-claimer Izzy Rules captures Grade 3 Las Flores

Benoit & Associates
Izzzy Rules, who was running for a $20,000 tag in December, collects her fourth straight victory in the Grade 3 Las Flores.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Izzy Rules, who could have been claimed for $20,000 in December, continued her dramatic rise up the class ladder on Sunday at Santa Anita by speeding to a front-running, 4 1/4-length victory in the Grade 3, $100,000 Las Flores Stakes for older female sprinters.

With the victory, Izzy Rules became the first three-time winner at the meet. It was her fourth straight victory, dating back to that $20,000 claimer at Hollywood Park three months ago.

As is her custom, Izzy Rules ($4.60), the favorite, broke sharply from the gate and ran her five rivals off their feet. After setting fractions of 21.73 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 43.31 seconds for a half-mile, she passed the six-furlong mark in 1:07.40 en route to a final time of 1:14.59 for 6 1/2 furlongs on the fast main track.

Spectacular Sky, who chased Izzy Rules throughout, held on for second, three-quarters of a length in front of third-place She’s Cheeky. Great Hot, Home Sweet Aspen, and Veloce Canzone completed the finish, in that order.

Izzy Rules, trained by Jeff Bonde for owners George and Mary Clare Schmitt, was ridden by Edwin Maldonado, who was scoring his first stakes victory at Santa Anita. He has been on this circuit for 1 1/2 years.

“Jeff just told me basically to get her to relax, try to keep her as quiet as I can,” Maldonado said.

A daughter of Peace Rules, Izzy Rules, 5, has now won 7 times in 17 starts.