Lovable Lady Maryland Million-bound after Politely win
Lovable Lady scored the upset in the Jameela Stakes in August. Photo by The Racing Biz.
by Frank Vespe
It’s three straight wins for Lovable Lady — and now it’s on to the Maryland Million.
The Mary Eppler trainee wore down Deliver Me in the stretch to win today’s $75,000 Politely Stakes for Maryland-bred fillies and mares at Laurel Park by a length. It was the second consecutive stakes win for the five-year-old Not for Love mare, who now owns six wins from 14 career starts.
“She was good,” Eppler said simply following the race.
Lovable Lady had never been out of the money in six prior tries on off tracks, and today, on a sloppy, sealed main track, she navigated six furlongs in 1:11.33 under regular pilot Horacio Karamanos. She also has won four times in eight Laurel starts.
Lovable Lady broke very alertly to the lead in the first jumps, but Karamanos took her back to let the speed horses go on. Street Cruizer and Deliver Me dueled through a quarter-mile in 22.79 seconds and a half in 46.34. After breaking on top, Lovable Lady conced ground and was fourth, almost three lengths back, after a half mile.
“She was a little bit too close in the very beginning,” Eppler said. “She likes to drop back and come on a bit, but it all worked out.”
Entering the lane, Karamanos steered Lovable Lady outside the speed while Deliver Me — at 52-1 the longest shot on the board — put away her speed rival and took a one-length lead. But Lovable Lady had dead aim, and Eppler said she was confident.
Karamanos did “a great job,” she said. “He only hit her twice just to go by her. She looked like she was coming.”
Deliver Me held second, while Candida H. rallied into third, just over two lengths farther back.
Lovable Lady returned $5 as the 3-2 favorite and topped an exacta worth $131.80.
Eppler said that Lovable Lady, owned by the Samuel H. Rogers Trust, would likely make her next start three weeks hence in the Maryland Million Distaff.
And she said something else, granting Lovable Lady perhaps the highest praise she can.
“She’s like another Page,” she said, referring to Page McKenney, the hard-hitting and ultra-consistent star of her barn, who has earned over $1 million.