She needed the length of the Santa Anita Park stretch to do it, but Secret Compass passed favorite She's a Tiger with 50 yards to go and won the $250,000 Chandelier Stakes (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies by a head Sept. 28.
Secret Compass was one of three contestants in the Chandelier for trainer Bob Baffert. She broke her maiden in July at Del Mar before finishing four lengths behind She’s a Tiger in the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I), in which Fascinating finished second.
"(Secret Compass) was disappointing at Del Mar, but today she had to gut it out down the stretch. I always thought she'd be better going two turns," said Baffert, who added that Fascinating should move forward off her third-place effort. Both will be pointed along with the winner to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), he said.
Secret Compass races for Westrock Stables. She is a daughter of Discreet Cat out of the Maria's Mon mare Maria's Pride, and was bred in Kentucky by Liberation Farm and Brandywine Farm.
Secret Compass cost Westrock $425,000 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March auction.
Under Rosie Napravnik, Secret Compass was unhurried early, racing in mid-pack in the field of seven as Harlington's Rose and Awesome Baby traded the lead through early fractions of :22.80 and :46.25. She’s a Tiger tracked in third under Gary Stevens and went for an early run just past the half-mile pole, cruising to the lead leaving the backstretch.
Secret Compass began to loom coming off the turn for home, but She’s a Tiger was holding her at bay and both fillies were tiring visibly. After six furlongs in 1:10.27, the mile went in 1:37.66.
Stevens did everything he could to try to keep She’s a Tiger in front, but she flattened out late, and Secret Compass crossed the line first in 1:44.91 on a fast track.
"My filly just kept running and she was all out sticking her nose out for the win," said Napravnik.
Stevens said he was proud of She's a Tiger and looked forward to the Breeders' Cup. "She felt great. Even after she was empty she put up a fight."
Secret Compass paid $23.40, $8.40, and $3.60. She’s a Tiger returned $4 and $2.40, while Fascinating was good for $2.10. The $2 exacta returned $74.60.
Secret Compass has now won two of four starts and has earned $216,120.