Lady Ivanka rallied for the win in Saturday’s $343,000 Spinaway Stakes (G1) at Saratoga to record a three-quarter length victory under jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.
Separationofpowers headed straight to the front when the gates opened, but Pure Silver followed and the duo duked it out up front through splits of :22.36 and :45.40 with Lady Ivanka tracking just behind. Maya Malibu was another five lengths behind.
Separationofpowers and Pure Silver continued battling into the lane, but Lady Ivanka was closing fast on the outside while Maya Malibu took full advantage of the open rail to fly up the inside. The latter filly looked the winner for a brief moment, but Lady Ivanka kicked into high gear down the center of the track and got up to stop the clock in 1:24.97 for seven furlongs on the fast dirt.
Sent off the 5-1 third choice, Lady Ivanka paid $12.40 while taking her stakes bow. Maya Malibu was best of the rest, 3 1/4 lengths up on Separationofpowers, who in turn had 2 1/2 lengths to spare on Pure Silver. Obvious Two trailed in last throughout.
Campaigned by Michael Dubb, Bethlehem Stables LLC, Michael Imperio and Susan Montanye, Lady Ivanka is now a perfect two-for-two after breaking her maiden by eight lengths in her debut on August 8 at the Spa. The Rudy Rodriguez-trained daughter of Tiz Wonderful went 5 1/2 furlongs that day and stretched out here to improve her career earnings to $259,800.
Bred in Oklahoma by Scott Pierece, Lady Ivanka is the first registered stakes winner out of the Officer mare Lady Leftennant. That mare is a half-sister to Grade/Group 1-placed multiple stakes scorers winners Jet West and Jetin Excess as well as dual stakes winners Jetinto Houston and Triumphant Flight.
Rudy Rodriguez, trainer Lady Ivanka, winner
“It was a tough test but we got it done. I was not confident at all (turning for home) because I saw that the other horse was coming on the inside, and Javier (Castellano aboard Maya Malibu) is one of the best riders in the country; they opened the rail for him and I was concerned. I was hoping that he would wait a little longer, but I’m not on top here, so I thought if he waited a little longer maybe we could wait for whatever they were going to do, but it worked out.
“I think she’s very good, she’s got a very good mind. She can see, like you see, she’s just sitting there behind horses, she’s been doing that in the morning all the time, so I think she can stretch out.”
Irad Ortiz Jr., jockey Lady Ivanka, winner
“I got a perfect trip. I broke out of there and just sat there and waited. We were clear on the turn and when I asked her she was there for me. She was ready. (Trainer) Rudy (Rodriguez) did a good job with her. Her last race was impressive and she did it in a good way. Now, here we are in a Grade 1 and she did it.”
Chad Brown, trainer Separationofpowers, third
“The post killed her. It was a bad draw and she got hounded the whole way. She did all the dirty work there and I’m proud of her she worked hard, but it’s just not a good situation to be drawn inside of a real fast horse like Pure Silver and set it up for another horse (Lady Ivanka).”