ARCADIA, CA – Benjamin and Sally Warren’s homebred Warren’s Showtime made a strong bid in the stretch to win Sunday’s $100,000 Surfer Girl Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
Breaking from post 3 under Jorge Velez as the 35/1 longest shot on the board, Warren’s Showtime settled comfortably in mid-pack as the field passed the wire for the first time. Up front, Savvy Gal posted opening fractions of :22.97, :46.63, and 1:10.64 while Cholula Lips gave closest chase.
Still rating in mid-pack as the field hit the far turn, Warren’s Showtime was put to a drive nearing the exit and straightened for home closing rapidly on the pacesetter. Collaring Savvy Gal near the 1/8 pole, Warren’s Showtime kicked away strongly in midstretch.
Despite late rallies from Croughavouke and Mind Out, the Craig Lewis trainee held sway and crossed 3/4 of a length ahead in a final time of 1:35.06 for the mile-long event over the firm turf course.
“This filly had worked really good for this race,” said Velez, an apprentice rider who won his first stakes race. “She went to the rail and finished strong. I’m so excited, this is my first stakes winner in my career. I’ve been here in California nine months and Craig is putting me on horses.”
After a furious final push, Croughavouke necked out Mind Out for second, while Savvy Gal weakened late to fourth. Cholula Lips and Yesterdayoncemore completed the order of finish.
Applecross was a veterinarian scratch, while Eclair and Smiling Shirlee were trainer scratches.
Warren’s Showtime’s win was her second in four starts, having broken her maiden over the Del Mar turf against fellow California-bred fillies. The 2-year-old daughter of Clubhouse Ride, who was a disappointing eighth last out in the Juvenile Fillies Turf Stakes at Del Mar, has now earned $104,271.
“I’m very grateful, luck is on my side,” said Lewis, who also trained both her sire and her Grade 1-winning dam, Warren’s Veneda. “I can’t say I’d knew she’d win, but I felt like she was going to be there. Clubhouse Ride was a really good horse, but I think he’s going to be a stallion for the history books. People can see that he’s by Candy Ride, but he’s out of a Phipps family mare by Seeking Gold and it’s an outstanding family. To make a stallion, you’ve got to get the right mares, and I want to thank Ben and Sally Warren for breeding this filly’s dam to him.”
Warren’s Showtime returned $72 to win, $18.20 to place, and $5.80 to show. Croughavouke brought back $4.60 to place and $2.80 to show, while Mind Out paid $2.40 to show.