ARCADIA, CA – Little Red Feather Racing’s Secret Spice was able to get the first jump over her multiple graded stakes-winning foes and cleared away with a tremendous effort at 11/1 odds to steal Saturday’s Beholder Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking well from along the rail under Geovanni Franco, Secret Spice settled just behind early leader Selcourt through opening fractions of :24.26, :48.04, and 1:12.75. Tipping off the rail midway through the far turn, Secret Spice ranged up alongside the pacesetter and took command shortly after straightening for home. Under a mild drive as she drew off in the stretch, the Richard Baltas trainee crossed with a 2 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:38.39 for the mile-long event over the fast main track.
“I’ve worked her a couple times and she does everything very easy,” Franco said. “We broke beautiful and she settled nice. We were able to save ground, and going to the far turn, she was targeting those two horses on the lead, so we swung out. She really ran great. Richie told me she would run big and she did.”
The 1/2 favorite Marley’s Freedom was attempting to stretch out to two turns for the first time in her career but ultimately came up short, taking second by 1 1/4 lengths over Paradise Woods. Selcourt weakened late to finish fourth ahead of Mopotism, with Exuberance and Just a Smidge completing the order of finish.
Secret Spice’s win came in her graded stakes debut and improved her overall record to 10-3-2-2. The 4-year-old daughter of Discreet Cat has now earned $352,510.
“It was our day today and we’ll take it,” Baltas said. “She put it all together today. I told her owners, ‘If you want to win a Grade 1, you are going to have to be patient and wait.’ She just put it all together; it was our day today.”
Secret Spice returned $24.40 to win, $6 to place, and $4.20 to show. Marley’s Freedom brought back $2.20 to place and $2.10 to show, while Paradise Woods paid $5.20 to show.