Los Alamitos shows off one of its main features during its two-week Los Angeles County Fair Thoroughbred meet Monday with the Grade 2 Great Lady M Stakes. The 6 ½-furlong sprint for fillies and mares 3-year-old and up headlines a nine-race Fourth of July card at the small Southern California track.
This gives Becca Taylor her opportunity to show off further. The 4-year-old daughter of Old Topper comes into the Great Lady M 8-for-9. Her only loss came by a nose to Eddie’s New Dream in the March 19 Irish O’Brien Stakes on the Santa Anita Park turf. That did, however, come with one of her three triple-digit Equibase Speed Figures: a 101.
After breaking her maiden in December 2020 at Los Alamitos – at 17/1 — Becca Taylor has largely ravaged allowance and Black-Type stakes fields at Santa Anita. She won her next five races after that debut score, increasing her Equibase each time as her odds descended into odds-on territory.
Good form follows effortless function
That progress culminated in her last outing, the Grade 3 Desert Stormer Stakes at Santa Anita. As the 3/5 favorite, Becca Taylor captured her eighth victory by 2 ½ lengths. It was her first graded stakes score, coming with a career-best 107 Equibase that sets her up nicely for the seven-horse Great Lady M.
“Mark Glatt had a nice horse (Dance to the Music), the competition was tough,” owner-breeder Nick Alexander told Santa Anita’s Mike Willman after the Desert Stormer. “She’s never beaten anybody by a whole bunch. She just seems to like to lay off and win by a little bit. We had the leading rider (Juan Hernandez), the outside post and I was still nervous.”
Becca Taylor should keep Great Lady M close
Alexander knows his filly, who he named after his niece. Becca Taylor doesn’t blow out her rivals. Her biggest margin of victory is four lengths. That came in her first 2022 outing, a 5 ½-furlong sprint on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic track. That race came after a nearly 10-month hiatus. The 14-point Equibase jump, from 84 to 98, illustrated her readiness to return.
It also illustrated her versatility. Becca Taylor won her eight races on three different tracks: Los Alamitos, Santa Anita and Golden Gate Fields and on three different surfaces (dirt, turf and synthetic). Five different jockeys piloted Becca Taylor to the winner’s circle: Armando Ayoso, Santos Rivera, Jessica Pyfer, Flavien Prat and Hernandez.
“Becca Taylor is not physically impressive, she’s got a little swayback, is barely 1,040 pounds, but she has a great action and is very smooth,” Alexander told Santa Anita’s Ed Golden.
Two Grade 2 winners chasing Becca Taylor
What competition Becca Taylor and her $379,160 in earnings should see in the Great Lady M comes from two Phil D’Amato candidates: Elm Drive and Ain’t Easy. A 3-year-old daughter of Mohaymen, Elm Drive owns a Grade 2 victory, the Sorrento at Del Mar last August. She too, broke her maiden at Los Alamitos, cruising home by eight lengths last June. Elm Drive comes in off a 2 ¼-length score in the Listed Angels Flight at Santa Anita May 8.
Ain’t Easy opened her career winning her first two races, that included the Grade 2 Chandelier at Santa Anita. The Into Mischief filly has two thirds since then, but comes into the Great Lady M off a dismal ninth and last by 23 ¼ lengths in the Grade 2 Eight Belles on the Kentucky Oaks undercard.