September Grad Laura's Light Shines in Sweet Lift S. (G3) at Santa Anita

Monday, February 17, 2020

Gary Barber's Laura's Light picked up right where she left off in her 3-year-old debut and returned to the Santa Anita Park winner's circle Feb. 16 after running down Lighthouse in the $101,000 Sweet Lift Stakes (G3T).

"We were pretty confident, and we felt like she was the best filly in the race," trainer Peter Miller said, "but (Lighthouse) put up a very good fight and was stubborn to get by."

Laura's Light was offered by Hidden Brook Farm at the 2018 Keeneland September auction.

The 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint for 3-year-old fillies was the first graded win for the daughter of Constitution . She closed her juvenile campaign with a win in the one-mile Blue Norther Stakes Dec. 29.

In Sunday's feature, Spitefulness broke on top in the seven-horse field, but Lighthouse moved up on the inside to lead through fractions of :22.62 and :45.19 for a half-mile. Laura's Light, the 2-5 favorite, bobbled at the start and recovered to sit third, two lengths off the lead, under jockey Abel Cedillo. 

Spitefulness dropped back as the field turned for home, and Laura's Light stuck her head in front. Lighthouse was a game foe, and the two opened on the rest of the field, but Laura's Light dug in to win by three-quarters of a length. The final time was 1:02.90 on firm turf.
Lighthouse finished second, 4 1/4 lengths ahead of Roadrunner's Honor in third. Blue Sky Baby was fourth.

Laura's Light won her debut Nov. 2 on the Tapeta at Golden Gate Fields for owner Scott Herbertson and trainer Jamey Thomas. She then moved to Southern California for Barber and Miller and was second in the Nov. 30 Jimmy Durante Stakes (G3T) at Del Mar, then wired the Blue Norther at Santa Anita.

"In this game, you have ups and downs," Barber said. "I loved the way she broke her maiden, so we bought her, and she's a really nice filly by a hot sire, Constitution. Getting a graded stakes win is what you want with fillies."

As for trying Laura's Light on dirt, Miller said: "You never know. Gary Barber wants to try the dirt at some point with her, and we'll definitely consider that going forward."

Bred in Kentucky by Golden Pedigree, Laura's Light is out of the stakes-placed Muqtarib mare Light of a Star, who is also the dam of Arlington-Washington Futurity winner and multiple graded-placed Barry Lee.

Laura's Light was a $95,000 weanling purchase by McMahon & Hill Bloodstock from Select Sales' consignment at the 2017 Keeneland November Breeding Stock Sale. The following year, she failed to sell after hammering for $25,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

From three wins and a second in four starts, Laura's Light has earned $147,320.

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