Secret Gesture was denied classic glory a second time when late-running Penelopa overtook her to win Henkel-Preis-Diana Deutsches Stuten-Derby (Ger-I, German Oaks) Aug. 4 at Dusseldorf.
The Epsom Oaks (Eng-I) runner-up behind her Ralph Beckett stablemate Talent
last out, Secret Gesture looked en route to victory in the German equivalent. But Penelopa wore her down in the final 200 meters for a three-quarter-length triumph.
Ridden by Eduardo Pedroza, Penelopa covered 2,200 meters (about 1 3/8 miles) in 2:13.53.
Secret Gesture held on for second under Jamie Spencer, edging maiden winner Adoya
by a neck.
By three-time leading sire Giant's Causeway
, who is based in Kentucky at Coolmore's Ashford Stud, Penelopa earned her first win from three starts this season for Bulgarian trainer Miltcho Mintchev and owner-breeder Litex Commerce.
Penelopa made two starts last season, winning her career debut in July at Berlin-Hoppegarten and finishing second in the Belmondo Zukunfts-Rennen (Ger-III) in August at Baden-Baden.
After an eighth-place finish in the German One Thousand Guineas (Ger-II) June 2 at Dusseldorf to begin 2013, she showed progress three weeks later with a third-place finish when stretching out to 1 5/16 miles in a listed stake at the same track June 22. She pulled a 15-1 upset in the German Oaks for her second win from four lifetime starts.
Bred in Great Britain, Penelopa is out of Lady Linda
, a Torrential
mare who was multiple graded stakes-placed in the U.S. Lady Linda is a half sister to a trio of U.S. stakes winners, including multiple graded stakes winner Miss Isella
and 2003 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Sir Cherokee
Penelopa becomes the 142nd stakes winner for Giant's Causeway, who has 10 crops racing.