Red Oak Stable's NEVERSAIDIWASSWEET (Eurosilver) hit her best stride yards from the wire of Sunday's $100,000 Miesque S. (G3) at Hollywood Park, just getting up to nip Holiday for Kitten (Kitten's Joy) by a half-length for the victory. Breaking her maiden last out under the tutelage of Kristin Mulhall, the dark bay lass was saddled this time by new trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and, with Rafael Bejarano aboard, stopped the clock for the mile firm-turf test in 1:35 4/5.
California Nectar (Stormy Atlantic) ranged up to take the lead out of the gate, but was closely tracked by both Holiday for Kitten and Lucky Trippi (Trippi) through the opening quarter in :23 3/5.
Neversaidiwassweet was biding her time and saving ground down on the rail, maintaining her position as Lucky Trippi faded and Wave of Applause (GB) (Royal Applause) moved up to take her spot through fractions of :48 1/5 and 1:12.
California Nectar began tiring as the field hit the stretch, yielding command to Holiday for Kitten, while Neversaidiwassweet angled out to begin her run. Holiday for Kitten was game in holding Neversaidiwassweet throughout the stretch, but the eventual winner put in a final burst as the wire loomed to grab the win.
"She didn't show me any speed today because she broke really, really slow," Bejarano said. "I had to change my game plan because I thought I was going to be on the lead easy. After the first turn, all I could do was stay behind and make one big run. One time she ran really well at Ellis Park (her July 17 debut). She came from behind and finished second and I knew she could do the same thing today if she had to."
Sent off the 2-1 second choice in the seven-filly field, Neversaidiwassweet paid $6.80, $3.60 and $2.60 while starting $1 exotics worth $13.10 (exacta) and $33.90 (trifecta). Holiday for Kitten was best of the rest, 2 1/4 lengths up on Cloneylass (Ire) (Verglas [Ire]), to return $4.20 and $2.80 as the 4-1 third shot. Show gave back $2.20 as the 8-5 favorite, with California Nectar completing the $1 superfecta (1-2-4-3) that totaled $86.
Wave of Applause, Katy's Kitty (Osidy) and Lucky Trippi finished out the order under the wire.
"She tried," said Joel Rosario, who was in the pilot's seat aboard Holiday for Kitten. "She lost a little momentum when the winner went by us at about the sixteenth-pole. She was looking around a little bit in the stretch. She's still learning. A horse came up alongside us on the turn and I had to make my move a little sooner than I wanted. She's a nice little filly and she'll get another chance next time."
Neversaidiwassweet began her career with trainer Greg Compton, running second and sixth in a pair of Ellis Park turf maidens in her initial two races. Sent to Mulhall in California, the juvenile responded to the change in climate and barns to break her maiden, but was purchased by John Brunetti of Red Oak Stable following that score. Recording her second straight victory here under yet another new conditioner, the filly's record now reads 4-2-1-0, $86,370.
"I don't think she's coming back in the (December 11 Hollywood) Starlet (G1)," Hollendorfer said. "She's worked well on the synthetic, and I think she'll run on dirt, too, but we have to prove that, I guess. In my observation of her gallop out, I would think she could get a lot more distance."
A Keeneland September yearling RNA at $7,000, Neversaidiwassweet sold for $28,000 as an OBS April two-year-old. Bred in Maryland by Alan S. Kline Revocable Trust, she is the third registered foal, and only runner, out of the unraced Storm Creek mare Surging Storm, who has since produced a yearling filly by Officer. This is the same family as Grade 2 queen Looie Capote (Capote), dual Italian Group 3 victor Heart of Groom (Blushing Groom [Ire]) and Canadian Grade 3 heroine Feathers (Cherokee Run).