Orchestrator and Age of Humor hooked up at the top of the lane in the one-mile Bourbonette after wearing down pacesetter Helen Belen and were heads apart for most of the final furlong. But Orchestrator, a 3-year-old filly by Bernstein, always held a narrow advantage and stubbornly kept Age of Humor and Russell Baze at bay. Midway Holiday rallied to get third under Victor Lebron.
The final time on Polytrack was 1:38.29.
Helen Belen, the 8-5 favorite, carved fractions of :24.42, :47.91, and 1:12.11 with Sal Gonzalez aboard, but began to tire as the three rivals came off the turn together. Winner of the local Valdale Stakes by nearly 15 lengths last out, Helen Belen finished sixth in a field of nine.
Trained by Ken McPeek, Orchestrator finished off the board in both career stakes efforts entering the Bourbonette, including a sixth-place finish in the China Doll Feb. 20 on the Santa Anita turf in her season debut. The dark bay filly broke her maiden on the Keeneland Polytrack last fall, then scored a first level allowance victory on turf during the same meet.
“She was very game today. She didn’t want to get beat," Solis said. "I just wanted to make sure she stayed in front. She needed that last race. It made the difference today.”
Bred in Kentucky by Bryant Prentice III, Orchestrator is out of the Temperence Hill mare Lucky Socks. She has now earned $155,496 from eight starts.
Orchestrator was purchased for $75,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s selected sale of 2-year-olds in training in 2009.
“She ran super," McPeek said. "Alex did a great job getting her out of the gate. She’s been pretty flawless on the Poly up to now. In California, we had a hard time finding a race for her, so we nominated her here. I’m not sure about the Kentucky Oaks. I’d prefer to run her back on synthetic somewhere.”
The winner paid $16.60, $7, and $5.60. The exacta (7-9) returned $83.80 and the trifecta (7-9-1) was $442.80 for $1.