This post is from an article by Steve Andersen from the Daily Racing Form. It should be noted that Living the Life wore modified eye shields in the Great Lady M Stakes that seemed to cure or diminish her reaction to dirt kick back that has bothered her in previous races on dirt traces.
Living The Life eyes elusive stakes win on dirt
Article by Steve Andersen Daily Racing Form
By Steve Andersen
“Living the Life has had success on synthetic tracks, but is still looking for her first stakes win on dirt.
ARCADIA, Calif. – Living The Life has been outstanding in sprints for fillies and mares on synthetic tracks in the last two years, having won four such stakes in California, England, and Pennsylvania. What’s missing is the same level of success on dirt.
On Saturday at Santa Anita, Living The Life will start in a stakes on dirt for the fourth time in the $200,000 Santa Monica Stakes. It will be her first time in a dirt stakes since she finished second in the Grade 2 Great Lady M. Stakes at Los Alamitos last July. From trainer Gary Mandella’s perspective, the Grade 2 Santa Monica Stakes for fillies and mares at seven furlongs is an ideal test for the 6-year-old mare.
“It’s a very good distance for her,” Mandella said.
Mandella is realistic, too. Living The Life ran well to finish second to Fantastic Style at Los Alamitos but was 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint here in 2014 and fifth in the Desert Stormer Stakes here last June.
“Her dirt races have been a bit muddling,” he said. “She got sick immediately after the Breeders’ Cup, and I think it started the days before.”
Mandella said he was not discouraged by the loss in the Desert Stormer. Living The Life closed from 10th in a field of 11 to finish 2 1/2 lengths behind the longshot winner, Amaranth.
“She had a lot of trouble and finished strongly,” he said. “That gave us the reason to try again. She ran great at Los Al. She caught a filly that ran big that day.”
Living The Life has won 9 of 28 starts and earned $791,704. Owned by Hank Nothhaft, Living The Life was sixth in the Goldikova Stakes at a mile on turf at Del Mar last November. Prior to that race, she won the Presque Isle Masters on a synthetic track at Presque Isle Downs in Pennsylvania for the second consecutive year.
In the Santa Monica Stakes, Living The Life is part of a projected field of seven led by Sunday Rules, the winner of the Kalookan Queen Stakes on Dec. 30. Other candidates are Ben’s Duchess, Kiss At Midnight, Kyriaki, Prize Exhibit, and Tara’s Tango.
On Monday, Ben’s Duchess worked five furlongs in 1:00.20, while Tara’s Tango went the same distance in 1:00.40.”
Photo Coady Photography LTL Win 2 Master Stakes Joe Bravo up