ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 30, 2009) – Hermione’s Magic, the 11-10 favorite, justified her support Friday when jockey Garrett Gomez steered her between horses in the stretch to capture Oak Tree’s featured $43,912 Intercontinental Purse for fillies and mares by a widening three-quarters of a length over second choice Linda Lou while racing one mile on Santa Anita’s Camino Real Turf Course.
The Intercontinental marked the second win in four United States starts for British-bred Hermione’s Magic. She covered the distance in 1:34.56 while rallying from next to last in the field of six. Linda Lou, who gained the lead briefly in midstretch before being overtaken by the winner, held second by a neck over Spinning Yarns.
The winner, trained by Kathy Walsh for Al and Sandra Kirkwood, paid $4.20, $2.60 and $2.40. Linda Lou, with David Flores in the saddle, paid $3 and $2.60. The show price on Spinning Yarns, ridden by Richard Migliore, was $3.
A 3-year-old chestnut filly sired by the British stallion Systematic, Hermione’s Magic impressively won her U.S. debut at Del Mar in August before her connections ran her in the Grade I Del Mar Oaks 17 days later. She beat a single rival in the field of 10.
“We ran her back in the Oaks, and it was too soon,” commented Walsh. “She was too keyed up. Then, in her last race (when fading to fifth), she got to running too soon.”
The plan for the Intercontinental, said Walsh, was to try to get her to settle during the early running. With Gomez aboard for the first time, the scenario unfolded according to plan. The winning purse of $25,200 increased the career earnings of Hermione’s Magic to 68,467 from an overall record of 3-0-1 in 6 starts.
Saturday’s Pick Six sequence begins with the fourth race. First post is at 12:30 p.m. The day’s feature is the third race, the $58,000 Jack Goodman Stakes for 2-year-olds at six furlongs with trainer Bob Baffert’s Macias listed as the 2-1 favorite.