INGLEWOOD, Calif. (June 19, 2009) — Porto Marmay got up in the final stride under jockey David Flores to win the $71,300 Great Lady M. in a three-horse photo finish Friday night at Hollywood Park.
Favorite Reba Is Tops appeared to be on her way to victory when she put away second choice Queen Ofthe Catsle early in the stretch, but she was unable to hold off late bids by Porto Marmay and Royal Taat in the final sixteenth.
Porto Marmay got the nod at the wire by a nose with Reba Is Tops and Royal Taat finishing in a dead heat for second in the 15th running of the Great Lady M.
“I knew I had the outside mare (Royal Taat), but I wasn’t so sure about the one on the inside (Reba Is Tops),” said Flores, who rode 2006 Great Lady M. winner Costume Designer. “I thought my nose was in front of both of them at the wire. This is a very honest filly. She’s been getting beat in some pretty tough races. I guess it was her turn tonight.”
Porto Marmay, a 4-year-old Irish-bred filly owned by Marsha Naify and trained by Julio Canani, covered six furlongs on the Lakeside Turf Course in 1:08.31 while breaking a five-race losing skid. She has won four of 17 starts overall. The winner’s share of $42,780 boosted her earnings to $197,263.
“I didn’t know who won,” Canani said. “I got real excited. I told Flores to send her a little more today because there wasn’t much speed in the race. The other day she was real wide.”
The fourth choice in the field of five fillies and mares at 11-1, she paid $24.20, $4.40 and $3.80. Reba Is Tops, who has now finished first or second in 13 of 17 starts while only missing the money once, returned $2.10 and $2.10. New Zealand-bred Royal Taat paid $2.60 and $2.80.
The Great Lady M. was not part of Friday night’s Pick Six, which featured a two-day carryover of $522,957. An additional $1,752,812 was wagered Friday with approximately $1.4 million available to the holders of perfect tickets. There were three — each worth $498,711.20.
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