Paris Secret, making her second start stateside after starting her career in Ireland, swept past the spent early leaders and held off fellow closer Pleasant Wave to acquire the April 29 Providencia Stakes (G3T) by three-quarters of a length at Santa Anita Park.
Heavily favored Ancient Peace , purchased for $650,000 at Keeneland’s January Horses of All Ages Sale, could not resist going with pacesetter Broadway Girls , who blitzed through fractions of :23.22 and :46.15, which proved a difficult clip to sustain at the Providencia’s 1 1/8-mile distance.
After six furlongs in 1:10 the early leaders came to the top of the stretch well clear of three other fillies but with Paris Secret taking aim and gaining ground under Kazushi Kimura, the two-time leading rider at Woodbine Race Course who has been traveling to Southern California for stakes engagements in recent months.
“Today she didn’t want to get in the gate, was a little bit negative,” said Kimura, who rode Paris Secret in her United States debut March 18 and returned to ride this weekend. “She threw her head a little bit (at the break). But today we got more distance going a mile and one-eighth. That might be the best distance for her. I didn’t want to be too far back.”
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Paris Secret angled out into the stretch, reeled in the tiring pacesetters, and kept on more professionally in the stretch, stopping the timer in 1:47.50.
Pleasant Wave made a strong closing run to second but was not catching the winner. Broadway Girls and Ancient Peace bumped repeatedly as they ceded position and continued to the wire in the same order, with the former getting third by a head.
Una Palabra was not a factor, concluding fifth in a five-horse field. Recent maiden winner Miss Lizzy scratched.
Mike Renzulli, who races under the stable name Strand Beach, purchased Paris Secret after watching her debut victory at Galway.
“I like Zoffany, and he’s by Dansili, and I like that bloodline,” Rizolli said.
Renzulli sent his new filly to trainer Phil D’Amato, who also won this race with an Irish import in 2020, Going Global .
“She’s a filly with nice raw talent and I think we’re going to see good things from her down the line when she matures and gets more professional,” D’Amato said.
The winner’s share of the $100,000 purse improved Paris Secret’s earnings to $75,390 from a lifetime record of 2-0-0 from three starts. As second choice, Paris Secret paid $8.20 to win.
The bumping between Ancient Peace and Broadway Girls triggered an inquiry but did not result in a change, as the stewards felt “both horses contributed to the bumping,” according to the explanation relayed by track announcer Frank Mirahmadi.
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