For jockey Jamie Spencer, another apparent top-level victory at Arlington International Racecourse vanished when Secret Gesture was disqualified from first to third in the $700,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) Saturday, Aug. 15. Watch Video
The disqualification resulted in Michael Kisber, Nelson McMakin, and Bradley Thoroughbreds' Watsdachances, who rallied late to get second, being declared winner of the 1 3/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares 3-years-old and older. The victory gives the daughter of Diamond Green her first grade I score.
Qatar Racing and Newsells Park Stud's Secret Gesture was placed third after drifting out several lanes in deep stretch, impeding the late run of Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Stephanie's Kitten, who would be placed second. In 2004, Spencer and Powerscourt reached the wire first in the Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT) but they'd be placed fourth for interference in deep stretch.
After Saturday's disqualification, Spencer refused comment. Irad Ortiz Jr., who was aboard Stephanie's Kitten, said Secret Gesture's drifting out definitely cost him second. Watsdachances passed Stephanie's Kitten while Ortiz was taking evasive action to avoid the drifting Secret Gesture.
After Saturday's race was made official, Chad Brown had reason to celebrate as trainer of the top two finishers. Jockey Joe Bravo helped create some luck by finding a clear path to rally Watsdachances into second.
Before the wild finish, last year's Beverly D. winner Euro Charline, the 5-2 favorite, led the field through a half-mile in :47.67 and six furlongs in 1:13.04 as rain fell on the yielding turf. She was tracked by Secret Gesture through the turn.
Secret Gesture would seize the lead in the stretch, while Stephanie's Kitten attempted to rally late on the outside. Watsdachances found room inside those two. Euro Charline faded to fourth.
"You can't make this game up," Bravo said. "With the rainstorm we got, and they had her ready to run and she just loved the distance."
Final time for the 1 3/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares was 1:57.36. Watsdachances returned $19.80 to win, $7.20 to place, and $5.20 to show. Stephanie's Kitten returned $4.40 and $3.40, while Secret Gesture returned $4.40.
Because the Beverly D. is a Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" race, Watsdachances earned a spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. I).
Watsdachances was bred in Ireland by P. G. Lyons. She is the first stakes winner out of the winning Entrepreneur mare High Finance.