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2014 GOLDEN POPPY WIN

Daily Racing Form 05/10/2014

Luscious Lonna repeats in Golden Poppy

By Chuck Dybdal

Luscious Lonna ($4), who paid $26.80 in the 2013 race, was favored this year and won convincingly, although the 1 3/4-length margin of victory wasn’t as big as last year’s 2 1/2-length win.

Luscious Lonna and second choice Spring Bloom bumped shortly after the start, but Luscious Lonna bounced to the lead with Spring Bloom sitting second all the way around the track.

Luscious Lonna rated nicely, running evenly the entire way while maintaining a one-length lead most of the way. She began to edge away as the field turned for home and was 2 1/2 lengths in front.

Jockey Juan Hernandez coasted home to win in 1:43.13 as Koby Jo, the longest shot on the board at 16-1, got up for second. Spring Bloom had little left in the lane and settled for third.

The victory, worth $39,450, was Luscious Lonna’s first since she won last year’s Golden Poppy and gave her career earnings of $222,025 for trainer Nick Sloan and partners Jon Harris and Bonnie Marshall. The trio claimed Luscious Lonna for $6,250.

The 6-year-old Luscious Lonna, a daughter of Benchmark, now has 8 wins in 17 starts.

2013 GOLDEN POPPY WIN

You can watch Luscious Lonna win the Golden Poppy Stakes on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjO7k2dJ6To

Luscious Lonna posted a wire-to-wire upset victory in the $61,350 Golden Poppy Stakes at Golden Gate Fields Sunday, April 7th.

    Making her stakes debut in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, Luscious Lonna defeated 10 rivals, including Grade 2 stakes-winners Halo Dolly and Vamo a Galupiar.

    Luscious Lonna took command immediately under jockey Jesus Velazquez and was never threatened en route to winning the Golden Poppy by 2 1/2 lengths over Lady Aspen. Halo Dolly, the even-money favorite, finished third, a half-length behind Lady Aspen and a half-length ahead of Vamo a Galupiar, the 5-2 second choice.

    “I thought they were going to put more pressure on me but they let me go by myself,” said Velazquez, who earned his second career stakes victory. “She relaxed and when I asked her at the top of the stretch she responded. She’s a nice filly.”

    Luscious Lonna is trained by Nick Sloan, who claimed Luscious Lonna out of her second career start. Luscious Lonna made one start for Sloan – finishing third in a starter allowance race on the turf – before she went to the sidelines for more than a year due to an injury.

    Luscious Lonna returned to the races last September and has rewarded Sloan for his patience by winning five of eight starts since the layoff.

    Luscious Lonna earned $39,550 for Sunday’s win and has made $137,650 for Sloan and his partners while registering five wins, two seconds, and a third in nine starts for the group.

    Luscious Lonna won the Golden Poppy in 1:45.86 on a yielding turf course and paid $26.80. Bred in California, Luscious Lonna is a 5-year-old daughter of Benchmark.

Trainer of the meet: Although Jerry Hollendorfer again won the training title with 82 wins, he started 158 horses more than any other trainer. With that being said, John Martin will get the edge with his 33% win mark on 47 wins in 143 starts. Ellen Jackson ended the meet with 17 wins, 16 of which came in 2013. Her best year to date was in 2009 when she won 19 races. The breakout trainer was Nick Sloan, who despite having a small barn of horses, had 6 wins, 3 seconds and 1 third in 15 starts (including his first stakes win).