Longshot Miss Nicolie, a maiden making her fourth career start, picked a good time to find the winner's circle Wednesday at Del Mar, winning the $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for California-bred 2-year-old fillies going six furlongs.
Owned by Ron Gomez and trained by D. Wayne Baker, the daughter of Walter Willy out of Lady Snerd (Chief's Crown) defeated Amber Hills, the 5-2 favorite, by 1 1/2-length in a time of 1:11.24.
It was the first stakes win for the 43-year-old Baker at Del Mar. A native of Wiltshire, England, Baker has trained for 20 years.
Jockey David Flores kept Miss Nicolie close to the pace of La Belle Reina and Small Town Girl down the backstretch through fractions of :22.08 and :45.15 for the half-mile.
As they swung into the stretch, Miss Nicolie was rallying from the outside as Amber Hills moved through on the rail. Miss Nicolie circled her opponents and opened up a sizeable lead before Amber Hills could respond.
"I was in tight on the turn and that cost me some ground," said Patric Valenzuela, who rode Amber Hills. "But she ran hard and gave it a good try."
"Mr. Baker told me to get her a good spot and then get after her late," said Flores, who notched his fifth stakes victory of the Del Mar meeting. "He said she would respond. She sure did. She came away from them in the lane. It was a good race for her."
Sent off at 15-1, Miss Nicolie paid $33.80, $11.20 and $6.40. Amber Hills returned $4.80 and $3.20. Summer Wind Dancer closed from far back to get third. She paid $3.40. The $2 exacta was $203.40.