08/05/2016 9:51PM

So Sweetitiz scores in Daisycutter Handicap for third straight win

Benoit & Associates
The 4-year-old filly So Sweetitiz prevails by a half-length under Flavien Prat in the five-furlong Daisycutter.

DEL MAR, Calif. – A switch to turf sprints has been a boon to the career of So Sweetitiz, who won her third straight race and her second straight stakes when she rallied to capture the $85,380 Daisycutter Handicap for older females on Friday at Del Mar.

 So Sweetitiz ($10) and jockey Flavien Prat had to survive a rider’s claim of foul from Tyler Baze, who finished sixth on Desert Steel, alleging interference early on the far turn. But the claim was dismissed by stewards, giving So Sweetitiz her fourth win in eight lifetime starts.

 So Sweetitiz worked out a good trip from the rail. She was able to secure a spot behind  dueling leaders Cindys Secret and Home Journey, overtook those two in deep stretch, and held off late runs from the likes of 14-1 Late Spring and 8-1 Long Hot Summer to prevail by a half-length.

 Late Spring was a head better than Long Hot Summer, with Cindys Secret another half-length back in fourth. Home Journey was fifth and was followed, in order, by Desert Steel, 2-1 favorite Shrinking Violet, Swift Lady, and She’s a Big Winner.

 So Sweetitiz covered five furlongs on firm turf in 56.32 seconds.

 So Sweetitiz had won her last two starts at Santa Anita, most recently the Mizdirection on May 21, both on the downhill course there. Trainer Marty Jones said he and owner-breeder Pamela Ziebarth decided it was best to point for Del Mar rather than try and stretch her out in a two-turn stakes at Santa Anita before the suspension of turf racing the final weeks of the meet there.

 “She’s so aggressive, and she was getting so good, we thought, ‘Why change now?’ ” Jones said.

 The rail draw proved no bother.

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“She’s got tactical speed,” Jones said. “She doesn’t need the lead. I didn’t mind the post, as long as she broke. She was able to save ground. She ended up having the perfect spot.”

 Jones had high praise for Prat, the meet’s leading rider, who was riding So Sweetitiz for the first time.

 “He had the confidence to rate her, without having been on her, which tells you how much confidence he has,” Jones said. “He gave her a tremendous ride.”

 So Sweetitiz, 4, is by Grand Slam. The $47,700 winner’s share boosted her lifetime total to just shy of $180,000.