The Adam Kitchingman-trained Vikki's Honor, a dark bay California-bred filly named for the late wife of the Australian trainer, won her debut Saturday, a $45,600 maiden special weight event at Santa Anita Park.
The 30-year-old Kitchingman was clearly thinking of his wife in the winner's circle. Fighting back tears when interviewed afterward on HorseRacing TV, the 30-year-old Kitchingman said, "I'm just glad Vikki's mother could come down today and it worked out as planned."
Vikki Kitchingman, who owned horses trained by her husband and was an exercise rider at Southern California tracks, was 34 when she died in July after battling cancer.
Jockey Joe Steiner rode Vikki's Honor, a Bartok filly from the dam Bigger Prize (Prized
) purchased for $32,000 this summer.
The slight 5-2 favorite in the field of nine 3-year-old California-bred fillies, Vikki's Honor flew out of the gate and led the field with authority throughout the six-furlong event, winning by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:09 4/5.
"For her to be named for Vikki and with her ability ... I tell you, it's great," said Steiner. "She's a rocket, and just what she looks like. She's fast."
She paid $7.20, $4.60 and $3.40 while earning $26,400 for owners FMJ Patriot Stable, K M Stable and Sebold 1998 Trust.