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Lite Light Wins Oaks the Hard Way

TIMES STAFF WRITER

There will be some good news for M.C. Hammer, who is continuing a world tour in Australia, when he calls home.

Lite Light, the 3-year-old filly purchased by Hammer’s father and brother earlier in the week, overcame some traffic trouble and won the $212,100 Santa Anita Oaks Saturday.

The 3-5 favorite in the field of five, the daughter of Majestic Light accelerated once jockey Corey Nakatani found room and beat Garden Gal by a length in 1:42 2/5 for the 1 1/16 miles.

It was the second consecutive victory for Lite Light, who ran her last race for trainer Henry Moreno. Soon, she will go to Jerry Hollendorfer in Northern California before venturing east for the Fantasy April 14 at Oaklawn Park.

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Wherever she goes, Lewis Burrell Sr., Hammer’s father and his business manager, and brother Lewis Jr. are sure to follow. As Oaktown Stable, they have purchased several other horses besides Lite Light, including Media Plan, and plan to continue in a big way.

“I’m 51 and I’ve been a horseplayer for 30 years,” said the elder Burrell. “Horse racing’s my future and I thank God I’ve got sons like Lewis and M.C. Hammer to make it all possible.”

Moreno, who won four stakes with the filly, is certainly sorry to see her go.

“You hate to see any good horse leave your barn,” he said. “She had a lot of trouble today and still won. She was much the best. She was in trouble from the word go.”

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Nakatani, who has two victories and a third in three tries with Lite Light, is hoping he won’t be replaced.

“She’s one of the best 3-year-olds I’ve ridden,” he said. “I was just waiting for room. (Garden Gal)) was four or five wide the whole way, so I figured I’d stay inside, wait and pick my spot. When (pacesetter Furtaw’s Friend) bore out, I asked her to go.”

Horse Racing Notes

Pending approval by the Office Of Administrative Law in Sacramento, which is expected Tuesday, Santa Anita expects to offer trifecta wagering beginning Wednesday. The trifecta requires a horseplayer to pick, in exact order, the first three finishers in a race. It will be a $2 minimum bet and will be offered in the fifth race. However, California Horse Racing Board rules require that there be at least nine separate interests in a trifecta race. If there are fewer than nine in the fifth, the trifecta would be switched to the ninth race.

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