04/24/2016 8:08PM

Uptown Twirl refuses to lose in Surfside Stakes

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CYPRESS, Calif. - The brawler in Uptown Twirl was on full display in Sunday’s $75,000 Surfside Stakes at Los Alamitos.

Uptown Twirl held an early lead in the six-furlong race for 3-year-old fillies, but fought back when headed in the stretch by Moment Is Right. Racing on the inside, Uptown Twirl was passed before the eighth pole, but retook the lead in the final sixteenth.

Uptown Twirl won by 1 1/4 lengths for her first stakes win and third career victory.

“It came down to a dogfight,” winning rider Tyler Baze said. “She tries hard.”

Uptown Twirl ($11.20) was timed in 1:09.36. She set fractions of 22.01 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, and 44.84 for a half-mile, leading by as much as 1 1/2 lengths. Moment Is Right, the winner of the Astoria Stakes at Belmont Park last June, held second after briefly taking the lead, finishing 3 1/4 lengths in front of My Dynamo. Code Warrior was fourth, followed by Surfside Tiara, the 9-5 favorite.

Uptown Twirl, by Twirling Candy, races for Pete and Kosta Hronis and is trained by John Sadler. The filly was purchased for $630,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sale of 2-year-olds in-training in March 2015. The Surfside Stakes was Uptown Twirl’s first start since a fifth-place finish in the Sweet Life Stakes on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita in February.

Sadler said he expected a positive race from Uptown Twirl, who has frequently raced near the front in her seven-race career. Uptown Twirl has earned $134,714.

“I told Tyler to get her out in front,” Sadler said. “She’ll fight when she gets out there.”

Sadler said that Uptown Twirl will be kept to sprints. He said the $75,000 Angels Flight Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs at Santa Anita on May 15 is a possible goal.