(from Golden Gate Fields)
Siren Lure snapped a 12-race losing streak Nov. 22 when he charged powerfully down the stretch to score a 1 1/4-length victory over odds-on favorite Indyanne in the $75,000 Sausalito Stakes at Golden Gate Fields.
The victory was Siren Lure's first since Aug. 20, 2006, when he captured the Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Del Mar.
Siren Lure gave trainer Steve Sherman, who went out on his own in 2008 after serving as an assistant trainer to his father, Art, for many years, his first stakes victory. Art was the trainer of record for all of Siren Lure's previous 32 starts.
"It's exciting," said Steve Sherman of his maiden stakes win. "I saddled many stakes winners for my father, but it's great to get my first one."
Sherman said he hadn't lost any respect for Siren Lure despite the 7-year-old gelding's long losing streak.
"In a lot of those races since he last won he got beat three, four, or five lengths by the best horses around, so it wasn't really a disgrace," said Sherman. "There were grade I, II, and III winners in those races, and that wasn't the case in this race."
A stone cold stretch-runner, Siren Lure received a great set up in the six-furlong Sausalito as four horses, including 2-5 shot Indyanne, battled for the lead through sizzling fractions of :21.37 and :44.23.
Indyanne, a 3-year-old filly facing male rivals for the first time while making her first start since Oct. 4, was a little too aggressive early, according to jockey Russell Baze.
"She was a little too fresh today," said Baze of Indyanne, who lost for only the second time in seven starts. "We had planned to let the other speed go and sit behind them, but she wouldn't have it. I tried to ease her back, but she wanted no part of that.
"We were caught up in a speed duel, and it set up for Siren Lure," continued Baze. "Take nothing away from that horse -- he ran a big race. My filly ran hard to the wire and he caught us."
Frank Alvarado rode Siren Lure, who stopped the timer in 1:09.40 and paid $12.60 as the second choice in the wagering.
"I just wanted to keep my horse outside and out of trouble," said Alvarado. "From the three-sixteenths pole to the wire he was just flying. I mean he was rolling. I thank Steve for giving me the chance to ride this horse. It's his first stakes win and I'm glad I was a part of it."
Siren Lure is a son of Joyeux Danseur owned in partnership by Stuart Kesselman and Tony and Marilyn Melkonian. The Sausalito victory was worth $45,000 and increased Siren Lure's earnings to $913,844.
A Cat Named Snipe finished third, two lengths behind Siren Lure.