At Aqueduct Dec. 29, the 2-year-old filly Lemon Splendor, by LEMON DROP KID, won her first stakes race. The Jim and Susan Hill colorbearer graduated by a length facing special weight company in New York Dec. 24 and was in with a big chance taking the step up in class in the $75,000 Swirlaway S. She rated sensibly, then powered past the rest in the stretch to win by a clear-cut 3 3/4-length margin. The $100,000 KEESEP yearling now has two wins in three starts and earnings of $73,700. Bred by Gallagher’s Stud, Lemon Splendor is trained by George Weaver.
Across the country, Lane’s End-connected runners made some noise on opening day at Santa Anita Dec. 26. The 2-year-old gelding Got Even, by STEPHEN GOT EVEN, raised his profile with a first stakes score in the $100,000 California Breeders Champion S. Owned by Altamira Racing, Bruce Chandler and F U Stables and trained by Peter Miller, the dark bay blazed through :22, :44 2/5 and 1:08 1/5 splits under Garrett Gomez and still had enough to draw off to a 4 1/4-length decision. He completed the seven-furlong main-track event in 1:21 1/5. Got Even was bred in California by Madera Thoroughbreds LLC.
In the next race on the card, Lane’s End sales grad Mr. Commons put in a scintillating performance in the one-mile G2 Sir Beaufort S. on the grass. The crowd’s even-money choice split horses with a bold move in the lane and skipped away to win by 3 1/4 lengths. The 3-year-old colt was bred by St. George Farm LLC and is trained by John Shirreffs. Mr. Commons also won the Oceanside S. at Del Mar and was coming off a good fifth-place effort in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Mile. He’s being pointed toward another run at the Mile in ’12.