Richland Hills Stable and John Kuehl’s Secret Gypsy will be looking to continue her comeback success story when she meets seven rivals in the $150,000 Endine Stakes (gr. III) Sept. 11 at Delaware Park for fillies and mares going six furlongs.
In her most recent start, Secret Gypsy posted a two-length score over current entrant Hour Glass in the Aug. 8 Honorable Miss Stakes (gr. II) at Saratoga. Previously, the 5-year-old daughter of Sea of Secrets notched a 4 3/4-length score in the Saylorville Stakes at Prairie Meadows on June 25.
Before her victory in the Saylorville, Secret Gypsy’s last victory dated back to March 21, 2009 when the Kentucky-bred won the Distaff Handicap (gr. II) at Aqueduct. It preceded a five-race losing streak over the next 15 months.
“She has had some issues with her knees and we have had to operate on her a couple of times, so that has been the biggest reason,” said trainer Ronny Werner. “She has come back off those operations well. She has done well and we have been fortunate that she has made it back both mentally and physically. It is a mental battle as well, but she is tough. She is a warrior and I have a ton of respect for her and she sure has been running good for us.”
Secret Gypsy’s last race put the exclamation point on the time and effort dedicated to her comeback and now her team is hoping to keep moving forward.
“We were really pleased with her effort,” Werner said. “She took it to the next level and really stepped up her game, but we are looking forward and hopefully we will keep her on this pattern.”
Secret Gypsy, the 8-5 favorite, has a career record of seven wins, two seconds, and two thirds from 16 starts with earnings of $506,926. Jamie Theriot will have the mount from post 1.
The 5-2 second choice is Mill House’s Hour Glass, winner of the Vagrancy Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont in May. Since then the Todd Pletcher trainee ran sixth in the Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) and was runner-up to Secret Gypsy in the Honorable Miss.
The 4-year-old daughter of Petionville drew post 7 and will be ridden by David Cohen.
$150,000 Endine Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 4:51 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs (Dirt) PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer 1. Secret Gypsy (KY), J Theriot, 123, R W Werner
2. Ivory Empress (KY), A R Napravnik, 117, I R Wilkes
3. Our Khrysty (KY), D G Whitney, 117, T M Beattie
4. Fortune Play (KY), T J Thompson, 117, C L Dickey
5. Mindy Sue (KY), A Castellano Jr., 121, M Robertson
6. All Giving (MD), J Joyce, 121, F W Stites
7. Hour Glass (KY), D Cohen, 123, T A Pletcher
8. Life Lesson (KY), J Valdivia Jr., 117, M R Matz