07/09/2016 9:39AM

Valid Offer scores upset in Larkspur Handicap


When a track’s leading owner, trainer, and rider send one to post in a stakes race, it normally garners some respect at the betting windows. That was not the case for Valid Offer in the $20,000 Larkspur Handicap on Friday at Hazel Park.

The filly repelled challenges from her more-lauded contemporaries in the race for Michigan-bred older fillies and mares to score as the longest-priced entry in the eight-horse field for owner Lisa Campbell, trainer Ronald Allen Sr., and rider Ricardo Barrios.

Valid Offer broke in third to the outside behind pacesetter Heres Hope to set an opening quarter in 25.35 seconds. Classic Music swept to the front on the widest path through the first turn and took a one-length advantage over Heres Hope heading into the back straightaway.

That advantage widened down the backstretch and through a half-mile in 49.75 seconds as Valid Offer took over the second spot from a flagging Heres Hope.

Classic Music began to waver entering the final turn, and Valid Offer took advantage on the outside. Valid Offer was clear in front at the top of the stretch and turned away a late challenge from Perfect Question with mild urging from Barrios to win by two lengths.

Perfect Question carried on for second, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of Afternoon Prayer. The favored Trinity Revealed never fired while staging her usual late drive and finished sixth.

Valid Offer completed the six-furlong Larkspur Handicap in 1:16.27 over a fast, sealed track and paid $49.80 to win.

The Larkspur was the first stakes victory for the 4-year-old daughter of Valid Trefaire, who improved her lifetime record to three wins in 11 starts for earnings of $46,770.

It was a bit of redemption for the filly, who had lost to Trinity Revealed in four of her last five starts, including a second-place effort by a neck in last year’s Regret Stakes at Hazel Park and a third in the sophomore fillies division of the 2015 Michigan Sire Stakes.

Valid Offer races as a homebred for Campbell, who also stood the late sire Valid Trefaire at her Grass Lake, Mich., farm.