06/16/2009 11:00PM

Valley Loot gives game effort to win Golden Sylvia

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The queen of Michigan-breds proved she's equally potent taking on open company out of state.

Valley Loot, a 5-year-old mare who has dominated restricted stakes at Pinnacle Race Course and Great Lakes Downs the past two seasons, delivered a gutsy performance to win Tuesday night's $75,000 Golden Sylvia Handicap at Mountaineer Racetrack.

After dueling with defending champion Adhrhythm throughout much of the one-mile race for fillies and mares, Valley Loot ($14.60) survived challenges from the 3-year-old Donna D and 4-5 favorite Sky Mom to prevail by three-quarters of a length, earning her 12th win in 20 lifetime starts.

Ridden for the first time by Federico Mata, Valley Loot went head to head with Adhrhtym through six furlongs in 1:12.10. She remained in front as Adhrhythm faded to last, but still had to deal with Donna D and Sky Mom in the stretch. All three were in contention in midstretch, and the 3-year-old Donna D, carrying 10 pounds less than Valley Loot, briefly stuck her head in front at the eighth pole. But Valley Loot refused to quit and inched clear, completing the distance over a muddy track in 1:38.97.

Donna D held second, 1 1/2 lengths in front of Sky Mom, who was taking a distinct class drop after facing Grade 3 and Grade 2 company in two of her last three starts.

Trained by Ron Allen, Valley Loot had finished fourth in her first two starts of the season facing allowance and optional claiming company.