Sunday, March 22, 2009


Secret Gypsy made the long trip up from the Fair Grounds in Louisiana to Aqueduct Racetrack last week get some black type and New York recognition.

Saturday afternoon, she attained both goals as she easily defeated four rivals to win the 55th running of the Grade 2, $157,300 Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares at six furlongs.

Although the margin of victory was a length and a quarter, Secret Gypsy was in hand for jockey Robby Albarado, who never turned his stick.

“She’s a very nice filly,” Albarado said of the 4-year-old Sea of Secrets filly. “She really does it on her own. I didn’t have to push her. When you ask, (she wins) by a hand ride. She just gives you what she has. I think I only her hit her once – and she came in second that time.”

Secret Gypsy has now won four of five starts with Albarado, including her last three in a row. Overall, she has won five of nine starts for owners Richland Hill Stables and John Kuehl. In the Distaff, as the favorite of the crowd of 4,162, she returned $3.40.

“It was fantastic [to get a graded stakes win] and tough to get,” said trainer Ronny Werner. “We’ve been hitting a couple dead spots as far as getting her running on a regular basis so this was just super. She did break a little slow, for her, but Robby [Albarado] knows her well, works with her in the morning and did a good job easing her up and didn’t rush her off her feet.”

Zada Belle had actually made the lead from the rail, apparently suffered an injury near the half-mile pole. By that time, Secret Gypsy inherited the lead after the first quarter of 22.44 and went on to set a pace of 45.04 and 56.98. Both Distorted Passion and Royale Michele made late runs at her, but Albarado needed only his hands to coax her home in 1:10.01 on the fast inner dirt track.

Distorted Passion nosed Royale Michele for the place. Awesome Ashley was last, and Zada Belle was vanned off.

Moonshine Alice was scratched.

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