CONSISTENT PERFORMER EDEN PRAIRIE WINS THE PAGO HOP STAKES

Article from www.drf.com

By Marcus Hersh, photo by Lou Hodges, Jr.

Eden Prairie might have proven the best horse in the $72,750 Pago Hop Stakes under any conditions, but the way the two-turn turf race for 3-year-old fillies unfolded, there was no way anyone was beating her.

Three strides out of the gate, Eden Prairie already had made the lead, and even to the naked eye, it was obvious that she was barely moving faster than a gallop. The opening quarter-mile passed in 26.13 seconds, the first half in 52.13, and still no rival bothered to challenge the heavily favored winner.

Eden Prairie passed six furlongs in 1:17.03 – a time straight out of European turf racing – and she was gone, sprinting her last quarter-mile in 23.49 seconds to win the Pago Hop by 5 1/2 lengths.

Always Kitten, the third choice, edged Promise Me More, the second choice, by a neck for second. The winning time for the mile on soft grass was 1:40.56. Eden Prairie, trained by Neil Pessin for owner Bob Lothenbach, paid $4.20. Love Blind and Stoupinator were scratched.

Guiding Eden Prairie through those easy fractions was Rosie Napravnik, who won her fourth race on the card. A daughter of MIZZEN MAST and the Elusive Quality mare Clerico, Eden Prairie won for the fourth time in 11 starts while scoring her first stakes victory after finishing second by a nose in the Raven Run at Keeneland last month. The Raven Run is a one-turn Polytrack race, and Eden Prairie showed her versatility Friday by relaxing beautifully in a two-turn turf race.

Date: 1 December 2013