It had been eight years since trainer Clint Crawford had won the Easy Date Stakes, and Sassalitical made his second win in this series one that he would have to sweat.

In the end, it was the 4-year-old mare’s nose that was the longest in this year’s edition over runner-up Jess Give Mea Reason (17-1) and Crawford was on his way back to the winner’s circle. Sassalitical had won the $50,000 Decketta Stakes here on March 25 to prep for this Grade 3, $77,320 Easy Date Stakes. It was the 4-year-old mare’s fourth win in six tries at Remington Park.

Crawford also won the Easy Date in 2015 with This Candys Awesome, ridden by Ivan Carnero, who is now training against Crawford at this meet. Sassalitical earned $44,784 for owners Tyler and Naia Graham of Elgin, Texas and the daughter of prolific sire Apollitical Jess, out of the Mr Jess Perry mare Jess Sass Me, improved to 15 starts, five wins, five seconds and one third for $253,367 in earnings. Sassalitical was a $70,000 purchase from the 2020 Heritage Place September Yearling Sale. Her sire has thrown three All American Futurity winners.

Sassalitical covered the 350 yards in :17.520 for a 94 speed index on the fast track under jockey Jorge Torres. As the 7-2 third betting favorite on the toteboard, Sassalitical paid $9 to win, $5.20 to place and $3 to show. It was the first win in this race for Torres and the owners. The mare was bred in Utah by Speed LLC.

Pops First Lady, the 9-5 post time favorite, checked in third, another nose back in a blanket finish for the top six horses. After the winner’s nose victory, the next five margins were a nose, a neck, a head, a head and a neck. It was like a cavalry charge at the finish line.

The Easy Date Stakes is named after the 1974 All American Futurity winner and 1975 American Quarter Horse World Champion who was bred, owned and trained by Walter Merrick of Sayre, Okla.
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