03/10/2012 7:52PM

Santa Anita: Lady of Shamrock closes to win China Doll Stakes

Benoit & Associates
Lady Shamrock wins the $74,500 China Doll Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf at Santa Anita.

ARCADIA, Calif. – As a filly racing on turf, Lady of Shamrock is much farther along in her career than she is racing on dirt.

Saturday at Santa Anita, Lady of Shamrock won her second minor stakes in the $74,500 China Doll Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on turf. She won the Blue Norther Stakes on turf Dec. 30. A month later, she was third in her first career start on a dirt surface in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes.

“Being on her on both [surfaces], she’s so much more balanced on the turf,” winning jockey Mike Smith said. “She can run on the dirt, though.”

Trained by John Sadler for Hronis Racing, Lady of Shamrock ($6.40) closed from eighth in a field of nine to win the China Doll by 1 1/2 lengths over Vionnet, a 7-1 chance. Indigo River, the 2-1 favorite, engaged in an early speed duel with Graser, through fractions of 22.66 and 45.89 seconds, and finished third. Graser was fourth.

Lady of Shamrock ran a mile on turf in 1:33.73. A filly by Scat Daddy, Lady of Shamrock has won 3 of 6 starts and $135,400. Last year, Lady of Shamrock made her first three starts for Ronny Werner before she was acquired by Hronis and transferred to Sadler.

Smith argued that the start in the Santa Ysabel Stakes was worth it, even though Lady of Shamrock was beaten 6 1/2 lengths by Willa B Awesome.

“We tried her on the dirt, just because,” he said. “The [Kentucky] Oaks is worth so much money.”

Lady of Shamrock is likely to stay on turf, with the $150,000 Providencia Stakes for 3-year-old fillies over 1 1/8 miles on turf on April 7 her next objective.