Hard Not To Love rallied from off the pace to win the G2 Santa Monica Stakes by four widening lengths at Santa Anita Feb. 15.
The four-year-old daughter of Hard Spun entered the Santa Monica off a sharp two-length victory in the G1 La Brea Stakes in December. Her victory today improved her record improved her record to five wins and a third-place finish in six career starts.
Hard Not To Love settled in last, as longshot Road Rager went to the front to set the pace. Only three lengths separate first from last as the compact field of five raced through the first half-mile.
Just as she did in the La Brea, Hard Not To Love began her move on the far turn, closing in on the leader as she swept four-wide. At the top of the stretch Hard Not To Love took command and began to draw off, eventually crossing the wire a four-length winner.
Bred in Ontario by Anderson Farms, Hard Not To Love is out of the winning mare Loving Vindication. She is a half-sister to Canadian Horse of the Year Wonder Gadot and Tropical Park Derby winner, Solemn Tribute (both by Medaglia d’Oro), and hails from the same family as G1 winner Secret Spice (by Discreet Cat).
Hard Not To Love is one of over 75 Stakes winners for her sire Hard Spun. Among his top performers in 2019 were G1 winners Spun to Run (G1 Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile), Out For A Spin (G1 Central Bank Ashland Stakes) and Gatting (G1 Makybe Diva Stakes).
Hard Spun is standing the 2020 breeding season at Jonabell Farm in Kentucky for $40,000, stands and nurses.