Afleet Alex's 4-year-old daughter Iotapa took her career to new heights Saturday at Santa Anita in the $300,000 Vanity (G1), rolling through the stretch to win by 10 1/4-lengths. The smashing victory also earned Iotapa the highest Beyer Speed Figure of the year by a filly or mare.
Iotapa's previous stakes wins came in the Grade 2 Santa Maria S. in February and the 2013 Railbird S. last May at Hollywood Park.
Iotapa is Afleet Alex's leading earner of 2014, and is one of five stakes horses for her sire, who is a leading Fourth Crop sire of stakes winners.
Possessing ample natural speed, Joe Talamo sent Iotapa to the front after breaking a beat slow. Carving out fractions of :46.56 for the half-mile and 1:10.52 for six furlongs, Iotapa began to assert herself soon after turning for home, opening up three lengths in mid-stretch. The final furlong was a one-horse affair, with Iotapa pulling further ahead with every stride. She completed the 1 1/8-miles in 1:47.64.
“We had a perfect trip,” said Talamo. “(Trainer) John (Sadler) told me just to send her because we didn’t have much choice once we drew the rail. It didn’t seem like too much speed, so I sent her and we didn’t get pressed too much either. The fractions weren’t too fast for her so she was able to gain a breather at one point and it was amazing the way she kicked away like she did.”
With the $180,000 payday, Iotapa's earnings increased to $616,796. She is now 5-4-1 in 11 starts for owner Hronis Racing LLC. Bred in Kentucky by GEM Inc., Bajer and O'hara, Iotapa is a half-sister to Saintly Joan, who won the $60,000 Little Silver S. Saturday at Monmouth Park.