Westside Gritty established herself as the early leader in the Illinois bred three-year-old filly pacing division by posting her third consecutive victory in Friday night's $20,000 Desperate Lady stake at Maywood Park in front end fashion.
The overwhelming 3 to 10 favorite was able to hold off the pocket horse Kennans Kelli (Mike Oosting) to pick up a head decision in 1:53.4. Renovation (Ryan Anderson) came on for third, beaten two lengths.
"The last quarter was a modest: 28.4 and I really didn’t open her up at all," said Holland after Westside Gritty increased her sophomore earnings $20,692.
Acquired for $110,000 in late January at The Meadowlands Sale by John Carver (Rapids City, IL), John Fodera (Staten Island, NY) and Joseph Petrera (Harrisburg, NY), Westside Gritty has yet to taste defeat since joining the Erv Miller Stable for her second season of racing.
Taking advantage of the coveted one-slot at Maywood, driver Brent Holland hustled Westside Gritty and she out-sprinted Kennans Kelli, who left hard from post six in the eight-horse field with Mike Oosting for the lead. Theoffspring took the field to a snappy: 27.2 first quarter with Kennans Kelli in the two-hole.
Westside Gritty was left alone through the second quarter and Holland was able to hold a comfortable one and one-half length left lead with the filly through a :28.3 second panel.
Ryan Anderson took Renovation out of the three-hole and went after the leader on the backside when Westside Gritty was getting away with a soft: 29 third panel and the pacesetter put that challenge away soon after the three-quarter pole, reached in 1:25 flat.
"Westside Gritty is very handy," said Holland. "I didn't start driving her until this season, but I watched Jason (Dillander) drive her lot last year. This filly can do it all. She’s great gaited and easy to drive, and pretty much races on her own. She's just a very nice filly who can race either way and seems to enjoy the competition."
Mike Paradise, Maywood Park