February 20, 2024

Secret Spice upsets Beholder Mile, St. Joe Bay dominates San Carlos

Secret Spice and jockey Geovanni Franco win the Beholder Mile (G1) on March 30, 2019, at Santa Anita Park © BENOIT PHOTO

by John Mucciolo

Little Red Feather Racing’s Secret Spice faced an accomplished group of fillies and mares in Saturday’s $400,702 Beholder Mile (G1) at Santa Anita Park. Saving ground while tracking inside, the four-year-old filly swept to the front in early stretch and strode home a convincing 2 1/4-length winner at 11-1 odds. The Richard Baltas pupil negotiated the one-mile co-feature in 1:38.39 under the guidance of Geovanni Franco.

Marley’s Freedom rallied to be a clear second while never threatening the winner late as the 1-2 favorite. Paradise Woods rounded out the top three at 14-1.

Secret Spice earned her first stakes win on Saturday while improving her mark to 10-3-2-2, $352,510. The bay daughter of Discreet Cat was bred in the Bluegrass State by Godolphin and is out of the winning A.P. Indy mare Chimayo.

Secret Spice is a half-sister to the stakes-placed Mexican Hat, and she is also closely related to Canadian champion Wonder Gadot, who won the 2018 Queen’s Plate and Prince of Wales Stakes against the boys and finished second in last year’s Kentucky Oaks (G1).

Hronis Racing LLC’s St. Joe Bay sprung out of the gate best in the $200,702 San Carlos Stakes (G2) at Santa Anita Park on Saturday. He was never threatened throughout in posting a three-length romp beneath Victor Espinoza.

The John Sadler trainee, who went postward as the 15-1 second-longest shot on the board, was two lengths clear after getting a quarter-mile in :22.45, and he held the same leading margin after four panels in :45.22. The gelded seven-year-old upped his edge to 4 1/2 lengths in recording six furlongs in 1:10.41 before finishing off the seven-eighths dash in 1:24.06.

The Florida-bred son of Saint Anddan now boasts $734,515 in lifetime earnings from a career mark of 36-7-7-6. He is now a three-time graded stakes victor, following previous tallies in the 2017 Palos Verdes Stakes (G2) and 2016 Midnight Lute Stakes (G3). The dark bay gelding ran second by a head in the 2018 edition of the San Carlos.

St. Joe Bay was bred in the Sunshine State by Bonnie Heath Farm LLC. He is the first registered stakes star out of the winning Honor Glide mare Dream Ride. His third dam is three-time champion and Hall-of-Fame member Susan’s Girl.