01/07/2012 7:30PM

Turf Paradise: Snuggs and Kisses easily defends title in Kachina Handicap

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Snuggs and Kisses successfully defended her title in Saturday’s $35,000 Kachina Handicap at Turf Paradise, and it couldn't have been easier.

The 5-year-old Snuggs and Kisses, owned by L. Barrett Bernard and trained by Dennis Sowers, broke alertly and went right out to contest the pace with Catch Lorraine in the mile main-track event for fillies and mares. Under Juan Rivera,  Snuggs and Kisses held a small advantage down the backstretch but began extending her advantage, continued to open up, and didn’t have an anxious moment in the lane, reporting home an easy 5 1/2-length winner.

Hard Seven sat midpack, tried to make a run at the winner into the lane but was no match, though she stayed on well to finish second, 3 1/2 lengths clear of the others. Catch Lorraine finished third in the field of seven. Queen Greeley, the 9-5 favorite and 122-pound highweight, had a troubled start and finished fourth, a nose behind Catch Lorraine. Ambitoness, who would have been one of the favorites, was scratched.

Snuggs and Kisses ran the mile in 1:37.13 and paid $7.60 as the second choice. The winner’s share of $21,000 gives her earnings of $146,504 from 8 wins in 22 starts.