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Living the Life repeats in Presque Isle Downs Masters

By Vance Hanson

Living the Life became the third repeat winner in the nine-year history of the $400,000 Presque Isle Downs Masters (G2) when she made a late, inside bid to catch 6-5 favorite Leigh Court by three parts of a length in the 6 1/2-furlong dash Monday night.

Ridden by Joe Bravo, the Gary Mandella trainee paid $6.80 after completing the distance on Tapeta in 1:15.17.

Living the Life follows in the hoof steps of Informed Decision (2009-10) and Groupie Doll (2012-13) as two-time Masters winners. Informed Decision was named champion female sprinter in 2009 and Groupie Doll won the same award in 2012 and 2013,

However, Living the Life is unlikely to garner the same award. Last of 10 in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1) in 2014, the five-year-old by Footstepsinthesand has won on nothing but synthetic surfaces since her importation from England last season.

The Masters served as a more important prep for Breeders’ Cup hopeful Leigh Court, who set a pace of :22.94 and :45.41 and weakened only slightly inside the final sixteenth. Although a synthetic specialist herself, she was a romping, three-length winner of the Thoroughbred Club of America (G2) over Keeneland’s main track last October.

With that $250,000 prep scheduled for October 3 and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint also set for Keeneland on October 31, Leigh Court must still be considered a leading contender for the latter event over seven furlongs.

Fifth in the Filly & Mare Sprint at Santa Anita last November, Leigh Court was subsequently bought at auction for $1 million by Speedway Stable. She debuted for her new owners and trainer Mike Stidham in the July 26 Royal North (G3) at Woodbine over six furlongs on turf. She finished a close second to Ageless, who was scratched from the Masters.