OCEANPORT, NJ – Gainesway Stable and Andrew Rosen’s Pink Sands waited until the right moment before rallying strongly in the stretch and drawing off victoriously in Saturday’s $100,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes at Monmouth Park.
Breaking from post 3 under Jose Ortiz at 2/1 odds, Pink Sands took back and watched as the 4/5 favorite Alberobello set opening fractions of :23.37 and :47.21. After tipping her out in the far turn to run four wide, Ortiz unleashed Pink Sands’ powerful stride and kept her to task as she swept past slower foes, including new leader Breaking Bread.
Under a hand ride inside the final 1/16 of a mile, the Shug McGaughey-trained Pink Sands crossed with a 3 1/2-length advantage in a final time of 1:44.56 for the 1 1/16-mile event over the fast main track.
“I think they put the blinkers on her to keep her focused,” Ortiz said. “She was a little spotty before, even though she was running good. She’s probably a little better going two turns, but it’s tough to find those races at Belmont. Even a mile and 1/8 is one turn. Today, we found out a little bit more about her.”
Though unable to keep tabs with the winner, Breaking Bread held onto second by a neck over Sun Studio. Further back came Isotope, a spent Alberobello, and Coffee Crush to complete the order of finish.
Crimson Frost and My Miss Lilly were scratched.
Pink Sands’ win was her first at the stakes level and improved her overall record to 13-4-3-3. The 4-year-old daughter of Tapit, purchased for $625,000 as a yearling, has now earned $268,080 in her career.
“In training, she’s had three works with the blinkers,” said assistant trainer Bobby Medina. “Not that it put speed in her, but she seemed to level off a lot better with the blinkers. They were going pretty good out there early and she’s kind of a one-run horse. It takes her a while to get going, but once she does, it’s impressive. We figured this was a good spot for her to try first time around two turns. She had been progressing to that and we thought this would tell us where we stood so we can map out the rest of the year with her.”
Pink Sands returned $6.40 to win, $3.60 to place, and $2.60 to show. Breaking Bread brought back $7 to place and $4 to show, while Sun Studio paid $4 to show.