Four-year-old filly Shi’ah Sand, victorious just once in 33 previous starts, tested the fuses in the tote board at Golden Gate Fields Dec. 26 when she scored at odds of 131-1 on opening day of the track’s 2012-2013 winter/spring meeting.
Ridden by Pedro Flores and trained by Terry Johnson, Shi’ah Sand paid $265.60 to win the fifth race on the card after she rallied from sixth in a field of 12 to earn her second career victory. Shi’ah Sand took the six-furlong race for $4,000 claimers by 1 3/4 lengths over Smart Code in 1:12.65.
Shi’ah Sand, who paid $2.80 when she broke her maiden as an odds-on favorite Sept. 25, 2011, at Golden Gate Fields, went into Wednesday’s race having finished in the money only once in 17 starts this year. Although she finished fifth in her previous start on Dec. 6, Shi’ah Sand was beaten less than three lengths by the winner.
The $1 exacta of Shi’ah Sand to Smart Code (who went off at 3-1) paid $783.10. The $1 trifecta of Shi’ah Sand to Smart Code to third-place finisher Katie’s Song (6-1) returned $6,199.10. There were two winning 10-cent superfecta tickets with the combination of Shi’ah Sand to Smart Code to Katie’s Song to fourth-place finisher Scent of Chrism (23-1), each worth $20,073.
Although impressive, Shi’ah Sand’s win payoff was well short of the Golden Gate Fields record of $322.60, which Pasadena Slim returned when he tallied on Oct. 28, 1957.
Shi’ah Sand is owned by Laurie Johnson, the wife of the winning trainer.
In the same race, apprentice rider Marni Williams suffered bruising to her right shoulder and the right side of her face, as well as a slight concussion, when she was unseated by her mount, By by Inheritance, at the start. Williams was taken to Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, where she was treated and released.