DEL MAR, CA – Rider Ricardo (“Ricky”) Gonzalez swung wide in the lane, then was able to urge his filly September Secret on to a last jump head victory Saturday in capturing the Golden State Juvenile Fillies Stakes at Del Mar in a tight finish.
There was a four-horse spread at the wire with Dylans Wild Cat second and just a nose in front of Eddie’s New Dream, who in turn had a nose on favorite Governor Goteven.
The winner, a gray daughter of the prolific California stallion Grazen, ran 7 furlongs in 1:25.56, giving owners Tom Kagele and Ken Shaw an $85,500 reward as their portion of the $150,000 purse in the dash for 2-year-old state-bred fillies. It was the September Secret’s third win in 6 starts.
The stakes tally was the first ever at Del Mar for Gonzalez, but the 36th for trainer Peter Miller, who watched the race from Keeneland in Kentucky while he’s there for the Breeders’ Cup. Saturday he’ll saddle owner Kagele’s C Z Rocket in the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
September Secret paid $28.60, $12.40 and $6.60 across the board. Dylans Wild Cat, owned by Sunnyside Capital Ventures, returned $14.00 and $7.20. And Eddie’s New Dream, who runs in the silks of Reddam Racing, paid $3.40.
The track will present an eight-race card again tomorrow starting at the usual 12:30 p.m.
RICARDO (“RICKY”) GONZALEZ (September Secret, Winner) – “This was the first time I rode her but Peter (trainer Miller) told me to just let her break and get a good spot. She did and I was happy with what we were doing. Going into the turn, she was dragging me to the front, so I knew I was loaded. I was looking for a spot with her and finally went outside and she gave me her kick. I knew it was close there at the finish, but I was pretty sure we won it.”
PETER MILLER, by phone from Kentucky (September Secret, winner) – “I watched the race from here. Once I quit cussing him (jockey Ricardo Gonzalez), I started cheering him even though I didn’t know if he was going to get there. It was a roller coaster of emotion. She was much the best and he had a ton of horse but had trouble getting her out in the clear. Absolutely, it’s good to start the weekend with a stakes win. It’s the same owner (Tom Kagele) as C Z Rocket (entered in Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint), so maybe it’s a good omen.”
FRACTIONS: :22.00 :45.10 1:11.63 1:25.56
The stakes win was the first at Del Mar for rider Gonzalez.
The stakes win was the first in the Golden State Juvenile Fillies for trainer Miller and his first of the meeting. He now has 36 stakes wins at Del Mar.
The winning owners are Tom Kagele of Laverne, CA and Ken Shaw of Hermosa Beach, CA