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    Los Alamitos: Eda extends streak with win in Great Lady M. Stakes
    • July 5, 2023

    Eda, a 4-year-old daughter of Munnings, hasn’t seen the track with any regularity since her 2-year-old campaign, but good luck beating her when she does race.

    The Bob Baffert-trained filly, in only her third start since winning the Grade I Starlet in December 2021, prevailed in a three-horse driving finish under jockey Juan Hernandez on Tuesday in the $200,000 Grade II Great Lady M. Stakes at Los Alamitos Race Course.

    She’s now won six consecutive races dating back to the Anoakia Stakes at Santa Anita in October 2021 and seven of nine overall, including three graded stakes. The winner’s share of $120,000 Tuesday improved her career earnings to $592,600.

    Eda, the 9-5 favorite, and Elm Drive, the 2-1 second choice who defeated Eda in the Grade II Sorrento Stakes at Del Mar two summers ago, raced as a tandem up the backstretch in the 6 1/2-furlong test for older fillies and mares. They were still heads apart midway through the stretch when 19-1 longshot Chismosa closed strongly on the outside while joining the fray.

    When the photo sign came down, Eda was the winner by a neck and Chismosa was another neck in front of Elm Drive for second. Elm Drive held third by four lengths over Dance to the Music.

    “She broke quick and I let her get comfortable,” said Hernandez, who has won both stakes at the nine-day L.A. County Fair meet that concludes Sunday. He rode Kings River Knight to a victory in the Bertrando Stakes on June 24.

    “When she started to feel the pressure she knew it was time to go. When she saw (Chismosa) on the outside she didn’t want to get passed. She was very game and showed a lot of heart,” added Hernandez, who’s been aboard for Eda’s past four races.

    Baffert assistant Mike Marlow was impressed by the winner’s grittiness.

    “She’s a fighter,” he said. “She showed that today, that’s for sure. (Chismosa) made us work there at the finish. She’s nice. She’s good. That’s six in a row. It’s been over a period of time, but she’s solid. I think she really likes what she’s doing. She’s matured and gotten a little stronger from last year.”

    Final time for the 10th edition of the Great Lady M. was 1:15.06.

    For Baffert, it was his fifth victory in the Great Lady M. since daytime thoroughbred racing returned to Los Alamitos in 2014 after Hollywood Park closed in December 2013. Eda joined Fantastic Style (2015), Marley’s Freedom (2018-19) and Gamine (2021) as other Baffert trainees to win the graded race.

    Edwin Maldonado enjoyed a riding triple Tuesday to pull within four victories of Martin Pedroza, Los Alamitos’ all-time leader in daytime thoroughbred wins. He has 123 victories. most of Pedroza’s 127 wins came during the Orange County Fair meets between 1977 and 1991.

    Ramon Vazquez also had three victories Tuesday. He’s bidding to win his fourth consecutive daytime meet at Los Alamitos. Heading into the final two days of the meet, he’s two victories clear (9-7) of runner-up Abel Cedillo.

    In the trainer’s race, Peter Miller, Jesus Uranga and Milton Pineda are tied with three victories apiece.

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    ​ Orange County Register