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2020 Bayakoa Stakes


Proud Emma with Juan Hernandez aboard heads to the winner's circle after the 2020 Bayakoa Stakes
Date: 12/06/2020

The feature race on the first Sunday of the L.A. County Fair Meet at Los Alamitos Race Course is the $100,000 Bayakoa Stakes (G3) for older fillies and mares going 1 1/16 miles. Conditions were typical for Orange County in early December, with sunny skies and temperatueres in the low 70s. Las Virgenes (G2) third place finisher Stellar Sound was sent off as the 6-5 favorite in the field of 6 off an allowance win at Santa Anita. In to challenge her included 2-1 second choice Message, winner of the Tranquility Lake at Del Mar, and 7-2 third choice Miss Stormy D, making her stakes debut off an allowance win at Santa Anita.

Down the stretch in the 2020 Bayakoa Stakes

Jockey Umberto Rispoli sent Miss Stormy D to the lead first time by through an opening quarter of 23.58 before Stellar Sound took over on the clubhouse turn through a half in 46.76 and 3/4 in 1:11.09 while pressed by Miss Stormy D and stalked by Message. Turning for home, Stellar Sound tired as Message inherited the lead through 1 mile in 1:35.90. However, 9-2 fourth choice Proud Emma, 4th early under Juan Hernandez, brushed Message at the 1/8 pole but continued to rally to win by 1/2 a length in 1:42.40. It was a long 6 lengths back to favorite Stellar Sound third.

Pgm  Horse                 Jockey        Win  Place  Show
 6   Proud Emma          Hernandez     11.20   3.80  2.40
 5   Message             Prat                  4.00  2.40
 4   Stellar Sound       Espinoza                    2.20

Winning Time:  1:42.40

$1 Exacta 6-5                13.90
$1 Trifecta 6-5-4            29.30
$1 Superfecta 6-5-4-1        64.70
Results Chart

Left: Proud Emma in the winner's circle. Winning owner Tom Kagele said, "She ran great. We've been trying to get a graded stakes with her, and she finally did it for us today. She likes to sit off it, and it set up very nicely for her. We were confident she would come running. She shows up every time, but this was awesome. The plan is to keep her in training in 2021."

Right: Proud Emma heads back to the barn after the race.

Left: Proud Emma enters the paddock before the race. Winning jockey Juan Hernandez said, "(Trainer) Peter (Miller) told me to just sit behind the speed and she'd give me a strong run. She relaxed perfectly, then really responded when I asked her to get by (Message). When I got to the stretch, I asked her and she responded well. She gave me all she had."

Right: Proud Emma returns after the race. Regular jockey Mike Smith was originally named to ride but had to take off his mounts for the weekend after testing positive for COVID-19.

Left: Second place finisher Message enters the paddock before the race. The Bob Baffert trainee improved her record to 3 wins, 3 seconds, and 2 thirds in 11 starts, earning $153,516 for owner Baoma Corporation.

Right: Third place finisher and beaten favorite Stellar Sound in the post parade. The Mike McCarthy trainee improved her record to 2 wins, 0 seconds, and 3 thirds in 6 starts, earning $125,800 for owner-breeder Don Alberto Stable.


The horses break from the gate for the Bayakoa Stakes.

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