04/17/2009 11:00PM

Swift Temper leads all the way in Sixty Sails

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STICKNEY, Ill. - While odds-on favorite Santa Teresita recoiled from the spray of dirt thrown in her face, Swift Temper scampered off to an easy lead and never was caught, winning the Grade 3, $200,000 Sixty Sails by a desperate head on Saturday at Hawthorne Race Course.

Jockey Chris Emigh just got back in town a couple days ago after wintering at Oaklawn Park, and rode Swift Temper to victory for trainer Dale Romans and owner Mark Stanley. Emigh said Swift Temper pulled hard into the first turn, and Emigh felt his saddle slide forward, verging on trouble. But the other pace horses backed off, Emigh found himself alone in front down the backside, and Swift Temper dropped the bit.

"She really relaxed on the backstretch," said Emigh.

The breather meant everything to Swift Temper, who had just enough left to narrowly hold off a belated rally from Santa Teresita.

Making just her second start on dirt, Southern California invader Santa Teresita broke from post 1, and never was able to get off the fence, which proved to be her undoing. Jockey Joe Talamo made a brief move with her toward the outside shortly after the break, but found himself bottled up and eating dirt for virtually the entire race.

"She was climbing all the way," Talamo said.

Finally, when the kickback stopped hitting Santa Teresita after she straightened away into the stretch, she went after Swift Temper. But slow fractions of 48.90 seconds to the half-mile and 1:14.07 left the early leader with just enough in the tank.

"She just kept digging and finding a little more," said Emigh.

Swift Temper paid $9.20 to win, and was timed in 1:51.70 for the 1 1/8 miles on fast dirt. Quick Notice finished third, 2 1/4 lengths behind Santa Teresita, and was followed by Mizzcan'tbewrong, Apple Martini, and Kathleens Reel.