Tequila and Salt shakes things up in Ellen’s Lucky Star Stakes

Tequila and Salt was able to shake things up in the eighth running of the $100,000 Ellen’s Lucky Star Stakes Wednesday, July 13. The three-year-old filly by Limehouse powered to the lead to take home the title in the one-mile turf race.

Guided by Francisco Torres, Tequila and Salt was the first name called out of the gate and grabbed good positioning on the inside of the field of nine from post one. She had company early but by the time the field approached the first turn, she was the clear-cut leader. Around the turn, Luna Dancer and Dick Cardenas moved up, sitting patiently on the outside of Tequila and Salt heading into the final turn.

Torres got Tequila and Salt into gear before the stretch arrived and once the filly straightened out, she was pulling away from the field. Torres kept the homebred filly at task and powered under the wire in a time of 1:38.30, two lengths ahead of Express Run and James Graham for second. Trainer Mike Lauer had a profitable day in the Ellen’s Lucky Star, earning the third spot with Seven Seize and Rodney Prescott and Dance Line and Miguel Mena for fourth, giving him three of the top four finishers in the race.

Overlooked by bettors, Tequila and Salt paid $14.40, $6.80, $6.20 across the board. It was the first win of the year in five starts for the Penny Lauer-owned filly raised from their mare Perth Lassie. Trainer Mike Lauer was not in the winner’s circle. He missed the afternoon card to attend the National HBPA Summer Convention held in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

“When I rode her (Tequila and Salt) last time in the stake (Hoosier Breeders Sophomore Fillies Stakes), we were pressed pretty fast fractions,” said Torres. “Despite that, I thought she finished really well to finish second. I was surprised she finished as well as she did. I didn’t want her to be pressed today, and I wanted on the lead. We got there very easily and were able to take control of the race. It sat up perfectly for us today.”

Tequila and Salt more than doubled her career earnings to more than $118,000. The lightly-raced filly now has two wins in 10 career starts.