Include’s Proud Emma earns first graded stakes win

Proud Emma won a stirring stretch duel with Message by a half-length to capture Sunday’s Bayakoa S. (G3) at Los Alamitos for her first graded stakes victory.

The 4-year-old old daughter of Include, who won the Tranquility Lake S. in August, is 6-2-0 in 16 starts and has earned $304,658 for co-owners Gem Inc. and Tom Kagele.

Proud Emma was several lengths off the lead after a fairly quick half-mile in :46.76. She made a big three-wide move around the final turn to set the stage for the stretch dramatics. Pacesetter Stellar Sound began to fade in upper stretch, leaving Message and Proud Emma to decide the outcome, with the eventual winner going the best in the final strides to finish the 1 1/16-miles in 1:42.40.

“She ran great. We”ve been trying to get a graded stakes with her and she finally did it for us today,” said Kagele. “She likes to sit off it and it set up very nicely for her. We were confident she would come running. She shows up every time, but this was awesome. The plan is to keep her in training in 2021.” 

Proud Emma was bred by Brereton C. Jones from the Proud Citizen mare Debutante Dreamer, who is a full sister to graded-placed Cousin Stephen.

Include, who will stand for $5,000 S&N next year, has five northern hemisphere stakes horses this year, led by Proud Emma and Eight Belles S. (G2) winner Sconsin.