Constellation Dazzles At La Brea

La Brea 2016 ConstellationConstellation won the 2016 La Brea to earn her fifth win overall

You could say that this one was in the stars. Three-year-old filly Constellation won the 2016 La Brea Stakes to top her seasonal campaign with a solid triumph. This was the follow-up to her win at the City of Phoenix Stakes, and Constellation ran a near perfect effort to overcome her 12/1 odds as a longshot.

Stalking 9/5 preference Finley’sluckycharm for the whole race, Constellation had difficulty finding room to pass, but was able to roar around the outside for her fifth career victory. Jockey Flavien Prat was elated with the run despite some early concerns. “She is a really fine filly,” Prat said of Constellation. “She broke well, but I couldn’t take hold of her. She just wouldn’t relax. When we got to the three-eighths pole, she finally relaxed and she did everything to get there for the win.”

Jerry Hollendorfer continued his knack for fillies in this age range by picking up yet another win and acknowledged that there was a little bit of good fortune involved. “That race kind of unfolded the way we thought it would,” Hollendorfer said. “I think Flavien was a little lucky to get through between horses, and that was the key to winning the race.”

Finley’sluckycharm was valiant as the front runner with opening fractions of :22.42 and :44.58 through the first half-mile. “I thought she had a great trip,” said trainer Bret Calhoun. “We knew the pace was going to be pretty hot and she handled it pretty well. She handled the seven-eighths well and that was maybe a question mark.” It wasn’t enough for the win, but it certainly added to the charm and draw that Finley’sluckycharm presents. She lost nothing by surrendering a loss at the last second to Constellation.

Enola Gray, who was looking for a turnaround after a late season lull, was a non-factor and finished third. Lightstream went off as the co-favorite but didn’t impact the race with a fifth place finish. “We were going OK, but usually she just relaxes and makes a big run and she didn’t,” said jockey Julien Leparoux who rode Lightstream. “She broke good and she wanted to go a bit early, but she didn’t really relax for the big run.”

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