ARCADIA, Calif. – Manhattan Jungle closed from fifth in a field of 10 to win her 3-year-old debut in Saturday’s $102,500 Sweet Life Stakes for fillies on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita, giving jockey Frankie Dettori his third stakes win of the track’s winter-spring season.
Manhattan Jungle ($4.20) took a commanding lead in the stretch and held off a late run from 17-1 Ragtime Rose to win by three-quarters of a length.
Manhattan Jungle ran about 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:14.08, and earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 76. Trained by Michael McCarthy, Manhattan Jungle races for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners.
McCarthy “told me to ride with a lot of confidence,” Dettori said. “I was in front too soon. She was looking at everything.
“She got the job done. It was a good performance.”
Itzel (5-1) finished third after setting a quick early pace of 21.72 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 43.96 for a half-mile. Itzel was beaten 1 1/2 lengths, and was followed by Fun Money, Naughty Lottie, Pleasant Wave, Excelia, Satin Doll, and Havana Angel.
Dettori, riding at Santa Anita this winter for the first time in his career, plans to retire in the fall. Arguably the world’s most famous rider, Dettori currently ranks in a tie for second with Edwin Maldonado in the jockey standings with 13 wins through Saturday, well behind leader Juan Hernandez with 34.