Ed Allred’s Nymph scored the fourth stakes victory of her 10-race career thanks to a strong finish in the $15,000 Newport Handicap for 3-year-old fillies on Friday at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Carlos Huerta for trainer Scott Willoughby, Nymph has won three stakes races this year. She won the Emma Bug Handicap on June 17 and the California Breeders Debutante Stakes on July 30 prior to her victory in the Newport at 350 yards. The Foose filly covered the distance in :17.760 while finishing a neck ahead of runner-up Secondswitch, which race for Blane Schvaneveldt Ranch. Nymph also won the Corona Chick Handicap as a 2-year-old last year.
One of Nymph’s main rivals coming into the Newport was Jose Flores and George Seward’s Kickin Seis, winner of the Fall For It Handicap in her previous start. Kickin Seis, however, became very fractious in the starting gate and was scratched. Meanwhile, Nymph remained calm in the starting gate the entire time.
“(Nymph) has been in that spot a couple of times this year where things have happened, including when she went through the front and she still came back to win the race,” Willoughby said. “She had to go through that. I wasn’t that worried about that part of it. When she stumbled away from the gate, that’s when I got a little concerned. She was within a half a length and she had them at the end. She has a big finish. She finished extremely strong tonight. She ran a great race.”
Nymph has already tested her mettle against mares when finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Mildred Vessels Memorial Handicap in her previous start.
“We put her in there and she ran a solid race,” Willoughby said. “She’s not quite ready to hook those kind of mares. We took a chance. We’ll wait on the Southern California Derby and then we’ll start hooking those mares year when she gets a little stronger.”
That could come in the Charger Bar Handicap in early January of 2017. For now, Nymph can continue to enjoy being a multiple stakes winner.
“She’s having a great year,” the trainer added. “She’s won four stakes now and it looks like there’s a very bright future for her. She’s out of a great mare, Elans Last. Nymph’s half-brother sold for $170,000 at this year’s Los Alamitos Equine Sale.”
Nymph’s younger half-brother is the Walk Thru Fire colt Chance To Fire, the second highest selling yearling and third overall highest seller at the Los Alamitos Equine Sale held this year on October 1 and 2. Nymph’s mother, Elans Last, is from the family of All American Futurity winner Elans Special. This family also includes champion Catchmeinyourdreams and stakes winners Sweet TR, New Look, Gotothemountain, Dreams For Lyndsie. Nymph earned $8,250 for the win to take her career earnings to $60,330. She’s won five of 10 outings.
Ridden by Minor Arana, Secondswitch earned $3,375 for running second. Dutch Masters III’s Summer Dynasty finished third. Strawfinder Jessee and Shoulda KissedMe completed the field.