Alice Marble and jockey Flavien Prat win the Spring Fever at Santa Anita
Although in top recent form on grass, Nick Alexander’s homebred Alice Marble proved invincible in taking Sunday’s $100,000 Spring Fever Stakes at Santa Anita as she rallied from off the pace under Flavien Prat to win by 1 ¾ emphatic lengths and is thus unbeaten in four tries on the main track.
Trained by Phil D’Amato, Alice Marble got six furlongs in 1:10.29.
The Spring Fever is part of the lucrative CTBA-sponsored Golden State Series for eligible California-bred or sired runners.
Quick from her rail post, but content to let a threesome of Doris Mae, Chancery Way, and Eddie’s New Dream duke it out on the front end, Prat bided his time to deep stretch, where he found a seam between horses a furlong out and burst clear in short order.
“She broke well, I was traveling super,” said Prat, who recommended Alice Marble run in the Spring Fever instead of against open company going 6 ½ furlongs down the hillside turf course in the previous day’s $100,000 Wishing Well Stakes. “She grabbed the bridle around the quarter pole and unfortunately, I had nowhere to go, so I just had to bide my time, and when we had a little space she really jumped into it and was really game.”
Most recently third versus state-breds going down the hill in the Sunshine Millions Filly & Mare Turf Sprint Jan. 7, Alice Marble was off at even money among a field of five older fillies and mares and paid $4 for the win.
A 6-year-old mare by Grazen out of the More Than Ready mare Unsung Heroine, Alice Marble notched her third stakes win and improved her overall mark to 6-2-3 from 14 starts. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $410,880.
“When it comes from (Flavien), I give a lot of extra credence to his opinion,” said D’Amato of the decision to run on dirt. “Flavien has won on her on dirt a couple of times, so between all those things, I thought this was the right choice to take a shot.”
Ridden by Ramon Vazquez, Taming the Tigress also rallied from off the pace and finished second, three-quarters of a length in front of third-place finisher Eddie’s New Dream.
Fractions on the race were :22, :44.97, and :57.68.