Arcadia, CA (October 10, 2020) – Just Grazed Me came from just off the pace to defend her title in the $100,000 California Distaff Handicap for California-breds at Santa Anita.
Swiftly out of the gate in the five and one-half furlong turf dash, the 5-year-old daughter of Grazen was masterfully ridden by Umberto Rispoli, who kept her out of trouble early and gave her clear running room around the turn and into the stretch. Just Grazed Me took over for good a furlong from home and proved best by three-quarters of a length at the wire.
“This kind of race is always tricky because with five runners, you can expect a lot of speed or you can’t expect speed at all” said Rispoli. “I knew Gypsy Blu on the outside broke slow, so I was thinking they were going to send her forward and I didn’t want to be in that trap. I saw around the corner that I could track her all the way. She’s just very professional. She (gave a lot of weight). She just does enough to win the race.”
Her victory proved a pleasing tonic for owner/breeder Nick Alexander. “She trains at Los Alamitos and I know Phil would’ve preferred to get a Santa Anita work into her, but the timing of the race just didn’t allow it,” he said. “She hadn’t won in about a year and she had to work for it today. She won the same race last year and she went one second faster, so we’ll give her plenty of time to recover. I had back surgery two weeks ago, but I wouldn’t have missed this for the world.”
Just Grazed Me has seven wins, four seconds, and one third in her fourteen career starts and she has earned $494,332. She was produced by the winning Cuvee mare, Fairway Road.