Sentimental Value Storms Home in Matiara

Sentimental Value drew away from Secret Garden nearing the sixteenth pole and went on to a four-length victory under jockey Victor Espinoza in Saturday's $125,000 Matiara at Hollywood Park.

Sentimental Value, who provided trainer Kristin Mulhall with her first stakes win in a division of last month's Harold C. Ramser Sr. Handicap at Santa Anita Park, covered 1 1/8 miles on a sloppy track in 1:52 to post her fourth victory in 11 starts.

"She had never run on the dirt or in the mud, but Kristin Mulhall decided to take a shot and see what happens," Espinoza said. "This was a good situation for this filly because she has natural speed. She handled the off-track fine and seemed to like the dirt, too. This filly just keeps improving."

Secret Garden, ridden by David Flores, hung on for second after battling most of the way with the winner, finishing five lengths clear of Company B and jockey Kent Desormeaux in third. Favorite Kithira stumbled at the start and finished last in a six-horse field. There were four scratches when the race was shifted to the main track from the turf course due to rain.

Sentimental Value, owned by The Thoroughbred Corp., paid $7.80, $4.60 and $3.40. She banked $75,000 to boost her earnings to $171,844. Secret Garden returned $7.60 and $4.20, while the show payoff on Company B was $3.

"She's a great filly," said Mulhall, who saddled her first winner in August. "She tries really hard all the time. She goes all out whenever you ask her. I didn't put stickers on her and I was a little worried that she was going to slide around. Victor said she did a little bit, but she ran huge."

(Chart, Equibase)