10/16/2009 11:00PM

Sweetlalabye turns tables in My Dear Girl

Jim Lisa
Sweetlalabye, under Luis Saez, wins the My Dear Girl by three lengths.

MIAMI - In 1992, the homebred Boots 'n Jackie gave trainer Manny Tortora his first victory in the My Dear Girl Stakes. Seventeen years later, the Tortora family did it again after Sweetlalabye withstood even-money favorite Joanie's Catch before edging away to a three-length victory in the , the final leg of the filly division of the Florida Stallion series, on Saturday at Calder.

Sweetlalabye, who also defeated Joanie's Catch to win the six-furlong Desert Vixen division of the Florida Stallion series, fell a neck short of a sweep when she was upset by Rosebud's Ridge in the seven-furlong Susan's Girl. She also gave Tortora, who owned and bred Sweetlalabye along with his wife Jacqueline, daughter Toni, and son-in-law Richard Ancona, his 11th Florida Stallion series victory, tying him for second in that category behind only the late Frank Gomez.

Sweetlalabye, by Sweetsouthernsaint and Nandys Gold, benefitted from a perfectly judged ride by Luis Saez, who was aboard the filly for the first time. Saez sent Sweetlalabye up to challenge the leaders and wrest command midway around the second turn. The pair fended off a challenge from Joanie's Catch, who pulled nearly even for the lead at the head of the stretch, before Sweetlalabye edged away to a decisive triumph.

Joanie's Catch, who defeated Sweetlalabye by more than nine lengths winning the Brave Raj in her previous start, finished seven lengths in front of Sweet Enticement, who passed tired rivals to be third.

Sweetlalabye ($8) covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:49.42 over a fast track.

"She was in trouble twice in her last race and a little too far back," said Tortora, referring to the Brave Raj. "She was a lot closer today."

Sweetlalabye is a half-sister to the multiple stakes winner Hypocrite, who won an allowance race here on Friday.

"She wants to go two turns and her brother wants to go two turns," said Tortora. "It's a great family."

Tortora said he has no plans for Sweetlalabye's next start but ruled out the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies as an option.

Chary continues improvement

Chary made her stakes debut a winning one, circling the field into the stretch before finishing full of run to post a 1 3/4-length victory over Proud Osceola in the $75,000 Calder Oaks for 3-year-old fillies.

Chary has improved dramatically since being switched to the grass by trainer Pete Anderson earlier in the meet. The former claimer has registered 2 victories and 2 thirds in 4 starts since moving to the turf. A daughter of Montbrook owned by Cherry Valley Farm LLC, Chary returned $16.80 after running 1 1/8 miles over a firm course in 1:50.52 under jockey Juan Leyva.

Providanza, the 6-5 favorite for trainer Christophe Clement, challenged for the lead three wide into the stretch but had little left inside the eighth pole and finished a tiring seventh in her U.S. debut.

Lucas Brady connects at 26-1

Lucas Brady got the afternoon's seven stakes races off to a shocking start when he rallied to a three-quarter-length victory over 4-5 favorite Mr. Green in the $75,000 Birdonthewire Stakes for 2-year-olds.

Lucas Brady was ridden to victory by Cecilio Penalba for trainer Manuel Azpurua and paid $54.40.

Lucas Brady, a son of Trippi, was coming off a $32,000 starter allowance victory while Mr. Green had finished second behind division leader Jackson Bend in the opening two legs of the Florida Stallion series. Mr. Green rallied from off the dueling leaders to open a seemingly insurmountable lead at midstretch but Lucas Brady wore down the favorite after swinging five wide leaving the final turn. Peace at Dawn finished another 3 1/4 lengths farther back in third.