Just missing in the Arlington Matron Handicap (gr. III) a month ago, WinStar Farm’s Leah’s Secret was not to be denied this time around, the 5-year-old mare getting up in the final strides under Rene Douglas to secure the $144,500 Chicago Handicap (gr. III) (VIDEO) by three-quarters of a length June 28 at Arlington Park.
It was the first win in more than a year and half for the daughter of Tiger Ridge, who is trained by Todd Pletcher. Her last victory came Nov. 25, 2006 in the Anne Arundel Stakes at Laurel Park. The victory was the second career graded stakes score for Leah’s Secret, the first one coming one race prior to the Anne Arundel in the Lexus Raven Run (gr. II) at Keeneland.
Tequilas Dayjur, who led by a length at the top of the stretch, was second under Tracy Hebert, 2 3/4 lengths ahead of Dhanyata. The final time for seven furlongs on the Polytrack was 1:22.17. Ten older fillies and mares contested the event.
For the opening half-mile Pro Pink was the pacesetter, with the Pletcher-trained Featherbed and Dhanyata staying close to the front. Leah’s Secret was racing mid-pack. The opening fractions were an ambitious :21.79 and :44.26.
Leah’s Secret began to make her move around the turn, passing both Featherbed and a tiring Pro Pink. But Tequilas Dayjur was still going well and it would take the entire stretch to run her down. Douglas did so in measured fashion.
The winner returned $5.20, $3 and $2.60. The exacta (10-5) was worth $28.60, while the trifecta (10-5-9) returned $195.80.
Leah’s Secret is out of the Capote mare Lady Cruella. She was bred in Florida by Hartley/DeRenzo Thoroughbreds. WinStar bought her through Taylor Made Sales, agent, for $525,000 at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky Fall 2007 mixed sale.
Now 6-4-2 from 21 starts, Leah’s Secret has earned $632,939.