01/22/2012 9:11PM

Santa Anita: Extra ground suits Include Me Out in La Canada Stakes win

Benoit & Assoicates
Include Me Out wins the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes by 4 1/4 lengths.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Battle-tested against a stakes-winning stablemate last fall, Include Me Out won her first stakes in Sunday’s $150,000 La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita, running in the sort of race her trainer thought would suit the 4-year-old filly.

Include Me Out started over 1 1/16 miles for the first time and gave a career-best performance to win the Grade 2 stakes by 4 1/4 lengths over Great Hot.

“Pedigree-wise, she wanted two turns,” trainer Ron Ellis said of Include Me Out.

Ridden by Joe Talamo, Include Me Out ($16) was fifth on the backstretch, tracking pacesetter May Day Rose, who set an early pace of 22.64 and 45.86 seconds. Talamo guided Include Me Out four wide on the turn to reach contention. The filly took the lead in early stretch and won comfortably.

“I thought she looked great the whole race,” Ellis said. “I thought Joe had her in a perfect spot.”

Great Hot, a stakes winner at Del Mar (Torrey Pines Stakes) and Keeneland (Grade 2 Raven Run Stakes) last year, finished three-quarters of a length in front of Tiz Flirtatious, the 8-5 favorite.

The La Canada Stakes, restricted to 4-year-old fillies, was the first career loss for Tiz Flirtatious in her fourth outing. She was followed in the order of finish by Love Theway Youare, Capital Plan, and May Day Rose.

Include Me Out, by Include, started in two optional claiming races at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park last fall against stablemate Teddy’s Promise, finishing second in both races. Teddy’s Promise won the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Dec. 31, a race in which Include Me Out was fifth.

“Those races turned out to be tough,” Ellis said.

Include Me Out has won 3 of 7 starts and $183,600 for Samantha Siegel’s Jay Em Ess Stable.

“We’ve been wanting to stretch her out,” Siegel said. “This was the magic spot.”